With cashless legislation being discussed in regulatory jurisdictions around the world, Crane Payment Innovations has continued a heavy investment in connectivity during 2017 – a commitment that will be visualised with an entire section of the company’s G2E stand.
The year so far has been a transformational one for cash-handling manufacturer Crane Payment Innovations (CPI), with the company looking ahead as it roadmaps the future of payments for the global gaming industry.
The key to this cartograph: Connectivity – which Eric Fisher, president of gaming at CPI, identifies as the vital thoroughfare to success on the casino floor.
“When we talk about connectivity, we’re referring to the ways we enable formerly static, isolated machines to communicate with each other and with business owners so that data about a machine’s health, performance and environment can be used to inform faster, smarter and more profitable business decisions,” explained Fisher.
“In gaming, for instance, our EASITRAX system leverages smart RFID technology to connect the slot floor with the back room. It works by gathering performance and transactional data from each game’s note acceptor and then organising that information into reports that help operators streamline the drop process, optimise slot performance and drive preventative maintenance programs.”
Over the years, CPI has pioneered such solutions to connect machines to networks and enable cashless transactions, a commitment which has been embodied this year with the launch of Crane Connectivity Solutions (CCS).
“Launching CCS was a very natural progression for our business,” continued Fisher.
“Now, we can give unprecedented focus to strengthening our portfolio with the best technology and services for an increasingly machine-connected world. CCS specialises in cashless products (including card readers), telemetry, enterprise software solutions, mobile applications, reporting/analytics, digital advertising and more – all of which CPI is able to quickly and easily leverage into the core industries we support, including gaming.
“We also recently acquired Microtronic AG, which adds complementary capabilities for open-site, closed-site and mobile payment solutions.”
This high-tech toolbox of software has been formed through a strategy of long-term heavy investment into R&D, allowing the company to then focus on individualised solutions to niche markets – perfectly suiting the capricious nature of gaming’s regulatory landscape. In fact, the
development of such specific problem-solving technology has shaped many of CPI’s award-winning products.
“Our SCR Advance note recycler, for instance, was initially developed to resolve hopper starvation, note jam and security issues in the German AWP market,” commented Fisher.
“Now, operators in other AWP markets throughout Europe have also started to demand SCR Advance for its superior performance over other note recyclers on the market.”
While CPI enables casino operators to install automated payment systems on slot machines, Fisher acknowledged that when it comes to table games, no real solution has come to the fore. The company’s G2E stand, however, is set to change this.
“Dealers still have to handle all the cash by hand, which can result in accounting errors, internal theft and the unintended acceptance of counterfeit notes,” he said. “Other suppliers have tried to deliver an appropriate product but have repeatedly fallen short -either it’s too expensive, too slow, jams too frequently or – even worse – all of the above. CPI not only has the internal capabilities to develop the right product, but we also have strong relationships with other technology leaders in the industry to make it happen. At G2E, we will show some real and tangible pathways to bring automation, traceability and security to the tables.”
Fisher believes that operators everywhere deserve a best-fit solution – not just something that “sort of” works. CPI, he explained, are patiently poised to deliver this level of service, with the company keeping track of the increasing amount of cashless proposals being discussed across the world’s regulatory jurisdictions.
“We believe it’s only a matter of time now before new payment methods are approved in gaming – and, when that day comes, CPI is more than ready to help OEMs and operators with the right technology,” Fisher added.
“Our portfolio extends far beyond note and coin devices – and our cashless technology has been proven in some of the world’s toughest operating environments, where there is a greater risk for hacking and EMV approvals are required.
“In fact, we have already sold more than 400,000 EMV-certified card readers into vending applications, enabling acceptance of not just banknotes and barcoded coupons but also cards of all types, contactless/NFC (Near Field Communication) payments and mobile wallet applications. CPI has the technology portfolio, industry partnerships and additional development capabilities through CCS to deliver the best payment solutions to the evolving gaming industry.”
Indeed, Fisher anticipates that the company’s booth at G2E will show that, as the gaming industry begins harmonising alternative payment methods with responsible gaming measures, CPI is in the best position to help operators transition to new technologies.
“The products we’re exhibiting this year will provide a glimpse of what the future of payments could look like on the gaming floor,” he concluded.