One thing that can be safely said about the Millennial generation is that they do not mind servicing themselves, especially if it saves time and effort, which allows them to get back to texting, socializing and other more enjoyable tasks they’d rather be doing.
Armed with a plethora of mobile communication devices, this group of people doesn’t see the need to stand on line and ask an attendant or clerk for anything. Need an airplane ticket? Buy it online, save the barcode to the iPhone, present the iPhone to the attendant at the gate and, presto, they are on the plane and heading for a seat. Want a ride to the airport? Why wait on a taxi line when they have the Uber app on their cellphone, which has drivers bidding for a chance to deliver them to their destination of choice.
So you can imagine that when it comes to fulfilling financial needs while at a casino, the last place you will see a Millennial is standing at the cash cage. More likely, you will find them at an ATM or kiosk, taking care of money and information needs all on their own.
Of course, young casino patrons are not the only people taking advantage of the convenience afforded by modern kiosks and ATMs; most age groups now feel at home with the technology and use it on a regular basis. This, in turn, has led to casino operators installing more and more of these units in numerous locations throughout the casino enterprise. ATM and kiosk providers have also noticed how essential their devices are in a modern casino environment, and are introducing new generations of product to better meet both operator and customer needs.
For example, Konami gaming recently unveiled SYNKiosk, a new module for its popular SYNKROS casino management system. According to company press materials, SYNKiosk allows casino players to simultaneously access loyalty kiosk functions—such as player account information, special offers, casino promotions, and more—from personal mobile devices, video slot machines, and traditional kiosk machines. In addition, SYNKiosk’s exclusive enroll features offer self-serve player account enrollment and retrieval via an automated kiosk, allowing casino guests to independently create and/or reprint their players card in under 60 seconds.
“Because SYNKiosk puts real-time player account management in the hands of customers from their smartphone and at their favorite slot, it’s creating new touch-points for properties and players to communicate and interact,” said Ross O’Hanley, vice president, North American sales for Konami in a prepared statement. “In less than a moment, carded players can launch the kiosk menu from any enabled video slot without leaving their seat just by tapping the icon on their game screen, or downloading the app and connecting via smartphone.”
SYNKiosk also delivers a promotions and offers engine for precisely-targeted player marketing. Promotional games, special offers, upcoming events, virtual drawings, comp awards, and any other functions common to casino kiosk stations are available across all SYNKiosk mediums so customers can easily complete targeted sales/marketing actions.
SYNKiosk is delivered to SYNKROS customers through collaboration with Atrient, a Michigan-based provider of kiosk-oriented gaming technology solutions.
“Atrient and Konami share the same principles in terms of customer service and product development,” said Sam Attisha, managing director for Atrient. “Our products are built on very stable and reliable architecture with unprecedented uptime, which equates to better all-round satisfaction for our customers in terms of product performance and player experiences.”
Atrient also has breaking kiosk news in its own right. The company’s new Power Kiosk concept is an interactive and automated customer service product for the gaming floor. According to promotional materials, the traditional casino kiosk has been transformed so customers can offer their players dynamic new ways to interact with their casino. Compatible with all patron management systems, Power Kiosk is an exciting evolution of the traditional kiosk and can be deployed directly onto mobile devices, game screens of video slot machines and traditional standalone kiosks. Key functionalities include:
Power Kiosk Enroll—Automatic club enrollments can now be done with Power Kiosk Enroll, which makes it easier and more convenient than ever before for new member to join and participate in a loyalty program. A quick driver’s license scan provides the patron management system with all the information required to enroll a new member.
Power Kiosk Mobile—Power Kiosk is all about versatility and ease of use. Players can interact with Power Kiosk through user friendly applications such as the mobile ap available on both Andriod and Apple devices.
Power Kiosk EGM—Power Kiosk seamlessly transitions from one medium to another. Now players can access Power Kiosk directly from the game screen of any video slot machines that is enabled with picture-in-picture technology.
Power Kiosk Promotions—A suite of reporting and analytical tools that ensures marketing programs are within budget and performing as planned.
THE X FACTOR
Global Cash Access (GCA), a Las Vegas-based global provider of cash-to-floor solutions and business intelligence services for gaming establishments, has also been hard at work upgrading its Xchange line of kiosks. According to company literature, this multi-functional suite of full service kiosks provide best-in-class cash handling technology, cash access, back office reporting tools and marketing services. The workhorse of this line is the CXC 4.0, with a new, sleek, and modern design, combined with powerful marketing peripherals and high capacity components, delivers maximum velocity and unparalleled uptime. The CXC 2.0 Lite offers the same key services as the CXC 4.0 at a smaller footprint without sacrificing quality.
These kiosks have apparently struck a responsive note with operators. Recently, GCA announced it had signed a multi-year agreement with Las Vegas Sands, one of its top customers, that extends existing cash access services and expands the business relationship to include the deployment of integrated kiosks across the full gaming floors at the Venetian and Palazzo resorts in Las Vegas, as well as Sands Bethlehem in Pennsylvania. GCA’s integrated kiosk platform is a full-service solution for ticket redemption, bill breaking and cash access services. Using patented ATM 3-in-1 rollover technology, the integrated kiosk platform delivers increased cash to the casino floor and profitability to the operator.
NRT Technology, the Canada-based provider of innovative payment processing, cash handling and cash management products, services and solutions for the casino industry, is also looking to integrate the latest technological innovations into its array of kiosks and ATMs. Last fall, the company announced it would take a leadership position on EMV (chip-card) payment solutions in North America, and launched the first live EMV payment processing solution for the U.S. casino industry at Ellis Island Casino in Las Vegas.
“We are committed to our customer’s success and by producing the most advanced and secure financial services platform, we are able to align ourselves with our customers objectives” said John Dominelli, president and CEO of NRT at the time of the deal. “Being the first provider to go live with EMV technology is a strong testament to the commitment and focus we have at NRT.”
According to company literature, EMV—which stands for Europay, MasterCard and Visa—is a technical standard designed to ensure that microchip-embedded payment cards are compatible with the terminals of merchants who accept them. Chip-embedded payment cards are nearly impossible to duplicate, and when combined with additional layers of security—such as encryption, tokenization and other strong authentication techniques—EMV significantly reduces opportunities for card payment fraud.
By leveraging NRT payments and cash-to-floor technologies, its customers can take advantage of the industries most advanced and secure cash access solution which connects casinos to all financial institutions, giving casino guests instant access to ATM, credit card cash advance, POS debit, dynamic currency conversion, Express Ticket and check cashing services at the cage and kiosk, all in one fully integrated package.
A host of casino cash service providers have also improved ATM/kiosk offerings or announced product placements recently:
First American Bankcard, the developers of FABICash, a proprietary platform that integrates ATM and compliance functionality in order to provide easy-to-use cash solutions for the casino cage, has contracted with best of breed suppliers to provide cutting-edge kiosk products. According to the company’s website, FABICash ATMs are powered by Diebold, a global leader in the ATM industry, and now offer credit/debit transactions and other revenue generating features, in addition to supplying detailed monthly and daily settlement reports on each ATM. The company’s ATM portal also allows access to real time ATM transaction information. Partnering with Glory Global kiosk manufacturers, FABI engineers have also built a software application that takes the traditional TITO and bill break kiosk and turns it into an ATM. Other technologies integrated into this kiosk include credit/debit card cash advance and e-check capabilities, which will improve customer experience and convenience, while putting more money back on the gaming floor.
Micro Gaming Technologies, a Las Vegas-based developer of software to automate casino promotions, continues to improve upon its suite of kiosks and kiosk management products. According to the company website, its flagship product, the MGT Promotional Intelligence Suite (MGT Promo), consists of several integrated computer applications and is the most advanced and dynamic kiosk marketing software in the casino industry. MGT Promo allows the casino marketing department to easily create and setup virtually any type of promotion including electronic drawings, scratch cards, swipe-to-win, new member bonuses, bounce backs, age or other demographic based promotions. The system operates through an interface to the casino’s player tracking system and touch screen kiosks. When the player swipes their player’s card at the kiosk, the system instantly evaluates the player and determines the right reward from a prize matrix based on the reinvestment rate that was predefined for the players tier in the setup of the promotion. MGT Promo is installed in over 53 different gaming jurisdictions in 26 states and successfully interfaces with Aristocrat, Bally, IGT, Konami and other player tracking systems. MGT has focused on the United States gaming market and MGT Promo is currently running in over 120 locations with more than 800 kiosks.
DiTRONICS Financial Services, a Las Vegas-based full service provider of cash access solutions for the gaming industry, offers next generation kiosk and ATM technology for the casino floor. The all-new DFS-500 Kiosk from DiTRONICS is an “all in-one” solution that optimizes the player experience directly at the kiosk, cage and via DiTRONICS’ digital wallet. Housed in state of-the-art hardware, the DFS-500 Kiosk maximizes efficiency through exclusive software enhancements for ticket redemption, bill breaking, ATM, cash advance and check cashing transactions. Features include: dual bill validator (multiple ticket pay-off capability), greater bill holding capacity (five cassettes/3,000 notes each), and 17-inch touchscreen with eye-catching multi-color LED illumination. Proprietary DiTRONICS’ Vantage software options include: Transaction Rewards that integrates funds access applications directly with a casino’s player database; new SMART Dispense technology that reduces wear and tear on the kiosk while improving the player experience; and brand new JACKPOT Pay technology which makes jackpot pays a breeze.
Cummins Allison continues to make casino inroads with its inventive coin counting kiosks. According to the company website, its Money Machine 2 is next generation technology that is faster, has greater coin capacity, is highly accurate and very easy to use. It helps gaming establishments generate revenue, improve operations for cashiers and recycle coin in-house.
Playersoft Technologies offers its advanced TouchPoints Kiosk, which can tie into a property’s existing host player management, player tracking, POS and promotional systems, and allow the operator to deliver a rich experience to your guests. The kiosk can be installed with a wide range of peripherals, including, scanners, card readers, ticket validators, and printers, according to the company website.