Depending on the different program levels associated with the handheld, the cost ranges from $100 to $150. If an operator has an older device or too few to warrant the purchase of the handheld, he or she can take the unit to a service center and they will load the new pattern. The update at a service center is free, but is part of a clean and calibration service with a fee, said Paczkowski.
MEI sells a bill programming module for less than $100 for updating bill validators. It handles unlimited updates and can be brought back for new software if new currency comes out, explained Reed.
Operators using Pyramid equipment are able to update their bill acceptors in two ways. Pyramid puts the software on its Website where operators can download it to their portable computers for free. They then need to purchase a special cable from Pyramid (about $35) to connect the computer to the validators. Otherwise, said Mays, Pyramid sells a PRO1 reusable device for around $130. The PRO1 connects to equipment in the field and will be compatible with future currency updates from Pyramid.
EQUIPMENT MANUFACTURERS ARE SUPPORTIVE
Operators report that manufacturers have been helpful in these updates, but it’s still a cost of doing business they don’t need. “You have to do it, but it isn’t bringing anymore money to the bottom line,” said Deck. Not doing it will lose you sales.
Wilson indicates the process to update his equipment for the new $5 is very labor intensive. “Generally, the end user is unaware of these types of expenditures,” he said.
The future of currency handing equipment certainly includes bill validators as the price of products increases beyond a dollar. Accepting the form of payment end users have in their wallets is essential to making sales. Returning change in a consumer friendly way is just as essential whether operators choose dollar coins or recycled bills. Cashless does away with returning change, but has extra financial considerations.