Vehicle Identification Automation

(VIA Guard)

LPR versus RFID 

You can read a lot about comparisons of License Plate Recognition (LPR) versus Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) Tags. To save you some time, most of the debates go like this: RFID is more trusted and reliable at greater than 99% accuracy. LPR is not as reliable, only ~90+% accuracy, but it is cheaper and will be the future of wash pass programs. 

The fallacy of this debate is that LPR is most frequently being implemented as an identical functional replacement for RFID stickers. RFID stickers perform two functions today. They provide the authorization for a wash pass holder to get a wash and they are the validation for the legitimacy of that wash. When you listen to the industry discuss LPR as a “new” technology, you are listening to a debate of LPR performing the same authorization/validation functions as RFID stickers today. It’s only a debate because of the error rate of LPR technology. If the accuracy of LPR was the same as RFID, there would be no debate because LPR is so much cheaper to administer. But it’s not. Imagine having to intervene with 5-7 out of every 100 wash pass holders on a busy Saturday because their LPR read was not accurate and it didn’t authorize a wash for them. That would be awful.

Taking LPR up to 100%

Dencar’s approach to LPR separates the authorization function from the validation process of the wash pass holder. In doing this, we now have the efficiency of LPR (it costs so much less) and the reliability of RFID (it just works). Authorization is done via a cell phone app or unique wash pass code. (Edit: we added RFID as an access method as well, so you have even more options now)  A customer simply scans their wash pass bar code or enters their unique wash pass number at the pay station. Once they do, their wash is authorized, the gate opens and/or their wash type is sent to the wash controller queue. This eliminates LPR read errors that would otherwise prevent a customer from getting a wash, frustrating a customer and every customer behind them in line, and generally slowing down your entire wash line. After the authorization, Dencar Technology performs a wash pass validation. A failed wash pass validation creates an action item for operator or manager review. These action items can be reviewed whenever an operator chooses and can be cleared in a matter of seconds. This can be done remotely from a cell phone or computer. Most importantly, this action does not impact your customers waiting in line in anyway.

VIA Guard as a Sales Tool 

The obvious problem with this process is the potential for fraud. What would prevent someone from sharing their bar code or wash pass number? Absolutely nothing and that is exactly what we want to happen! If you are investigating point of sale platforms and wash pass management and you talk to a company that is more focused on kicking abusers or fraudsters out of the wash pass program than easily adding them, run away. They don’t have a sales mindset and that will hurt your bottom line. Dencar Technology’s patent pending VIA Guard system within the Denpay point of sale platform captures these customers and converts them into model wash pass members ensuring you get paid for every vehicle you wash. Dencar is here to help operators wash cars, expand wash pass membership, and ensure operators get paid for every wash they deliver.

The key to this sales success focus is the multi-vehicle wash plan, a.k.a. “Family Plans”. What percentage of families share a Netflix account or have their cell phones on one family plan? You don’t need to know the exact number to know the answer is nearly everyone. The ability to create sticky relationships is what makes these family plans so successful. The peer pressure of cancelling a family plan for any service offering is extremely high. No one wants to tell their spouse, significant other, or kids they can’t have anymore once they are accustomed to using a service. This is the same for Netflix, cell phones, and monthly car wash passes. Ask any car wash operator that had Family Plans deployed during the Covid-19 outbreak what their cancellation rate was for a Family Plan versus an individual wash pass. You will receive confirmation that Family Plans are the stickiest of all customer relationships. 

VIA Guard Automation

Now that you know our goal is to create multi-vehicle wash passes, here is how VIA Guard supports your sales efforts. Whenever someone shares their wash pass bar code or unique wash pass number with someone else, VIA Guard creates an exception notification for the car wash operator. This exception can be reviewed whenever an operator chooses. The operator can then dismiss the exception or notify the customer. When the operator selects the notify option, the customer is notified via app notification and text messaging. The customer simply selects what they want to do. They can add the additional vehicle to their wash pass creating a family plan or pay for the wash individually at the individual wash purchase price. This is entirely automated, so the car wash operator never needs to call the customer or go obtain payment. The Denpay platform already has the wash pass member’s payment information securely stored, so whatever selection the customer makes is immediately implemented. Because the Denpay platform is integrated across app, pay station, and online, the customer’s wash pass is locked for additional use until a selection is made. The account owner is notified automatically of these activities. VIA Guard is a sales tool that eliminates fraud and helps you expand your wash pass program into the stickiest customer relationship – the Family Plan!  

Other Considerations

In our increasingly connected world, some of your customers will love the simplicity of an integrated experience across their devices. They like that automation makes it easy for them to get a wash. There will be others that resist this simplicity and will test your system to see if they can get away with fraud. We balance the approach to customer engagement by starting with a very soft touch. The usage notification that goes to a customer includes an “oops” button that lets them dismiss the lock on their account. If you are a golfer, the idea is everyone gets a mulligan. The customer could have been in a hurry and didn’t read the notice or watch the video that informed them that wash passes are intended to be per vehicle washed. If this is the case, they can simply select “oops” and now they are educated. For those that were testing you even though they knew the wash pass was per vehicle washed, this notification serves as a reminder their usage is being monitored. Either way, we have created a nonconfrontational sales focused approach to engaging your customers. Notification one is a thank you and explainer video message upon purchase. Notification two is a confirmation message that wash pass usage is being monitored and offers a no-confrontation soft touch dismissal option. Notification three and beyond is your cash register ringing. VIA Guard is your virtual attendant selling wash passes for you 24x7x365.