GeWeTe’s Mark Edmundson explains how cash handling has transitioned from being simply a function to become an important way for a venue to generate additional income
How has the cash handling sector changed and how do you see it developing?
Before I start addressing the specifics relating to this feature, we are all operating in unprecedented times. None of us has experienced anything like the coronavirus pandemic before and I would like to extend my sincere best wishes to the entire gaming and amusements community. Most of my working life has been spent in this industry and I count my customers throughout the UK and Ireland as friends. While this is a resilient industry I know it is being tested to the extreme and my personal thoughts and that of the GeWeTe team are with you.
Getting back to the question I think the term ‘cash handling’ is a little bit of a misnomer simply because it doesn’t go far enough. With products such as the new GeWeTe Cash Center Deluxe and many other models from our vast product range, venues are able to offer their customers the ability to obtain cash in addition to a range of other functions centred around a highly friendly consumer interface. For example, as well as making an operation more secure based on the reduction of cash floats, TITO also makes the player experience a seamless one, it enhances enjoyment and contributes to player mobility and privacy in the venue. In this way you can view income generation as being a byproduct of the core function.
How do you feel cashless is impacting the sector?
We believe that cash is here to stay for the foreseeable future and there will always be a need to accept and payout cash. We also recognise the need for electronic transactions and for over ten years we have had a facility for Debit Card/Contactless and Chip and Pin to TITO ticket on any of our PC based machines, plus membership cards, thereby offering a wide range of functions in a single machine. Interestingly it’s possible to encourage a customer who traditionally prefers to use cash to enjoy a cashless experience by demonstrating how seamless it is to move from machine to machine.
What do you think should be done to enable a coherent balance between cash and cashless?
The next generation of consumers will overwhelmingly prefer cashless and we need to ensure that they are able to play in a manner that suits them. Providing that the industry is able to meet its social responsibility requirements and responsibilities we have to be able to provide an offer that is on a par with every other retailer and in the process meet the expectations of the consumer.
How are you adapting to the market trends and what sets your company apart?
Everything we do is driven by consumer demand, which means responding to trends very rapidly and being responsive and agile. In terms of trends, there is growing use by venues to interface with their membership and loyalty schemes. Not only are the schemes accessible by card but also by using a mobile app. In addition, venue staff can withdraw cash for customers using an audited PIN and the equipment can be utilised as a safe for securely depositing cash and that is what distinguishes GeWeTe and sets us apart from the competition. GeWeTe also undertakes everything from the initial design, to the final installation and ongoing service, so everything is under one roof – the complete competence!
What profile does GeWeTe enjoy in the international market?
GeWeTe has a strong profile on the international stage. We have increased our export business many fold over the decade to the extent that the brand now has a presence in every European country and our market share is now in excess of 50 percent. What innovations are on the horizon? Apps, membership and loyalty schemes are developments that immediately spring to mind in terms of evolving and becoming a key part of the offer. Cash handling is a bit like the mobile phone where the core function – in this case making calls – has been joined by an array of new features such as music, banking and payments. Pieces of kit such as the Cash Center Deluxe provide a range of functionality which goes beyond the original core function. There’s a fantastic opportunity to drive functionality and consumer satisfaction.