Saving your Business
By Ozrenka (Olja) Blagojevic
Monex helped businesses recuperate from the pandemic
By Ozrenka (Olja) Blagojevic
March 3, 2020 the MONEXgroup team kicked off another Convenience U Carwacs Show in Toronto. As we gathered that first morning in our booth, we discussed the initial few cases of COVID-19 in Canada while rummaging through our bags for any available hand sanitizer. To prepare better for the following day at the show, we were looking to buy more of the valuable liquid, but store shelves were already wiped out. Some pocket-size finds helped us wrap up a very successful event. Exactly two weeks later, the provincial emergency orders were imposed, and like many other businesses, our office, too, switched to remote work to protect our staff and assess the situation of the ever-growing pandemic.
Fast forward to today, the same unattended Contactless Only payment devices we discussed at the show with many self-serve car wash owners and vending machine operators, gained new interest from virtually every industry now in the pandemic world. Our devices’ unique characteristics drive the appeal, one of them being 100% weather & waterproof. “Wait, when you say it is waterproof, does it mean I can just splash disinfectant on it?” – we hear that regularly from all sorts of businesses looking for ways to adapt to these challenging times. And yes, that is precisely what will keep us moving forward; touchless, easy to sanitize, safe. Even though we have been providing traditional payment processing to Canadian businesses for almost twenty years, we can primarily thank our Contactless Only payment devices, pioneered back in 2016, to award us now with a quick rebound.
The moment everything suddenly stopped across the country, we first ensured the service was uninterrupted for businesses that depended on us. We kept our team, and in the reimagined work settings, we set ourselves to help fellow businesses stand on their feet.
Being in the business for a long time, this is not the first global crisis we faced, but nothing quite like this. When the world economy crashed back in 2009, small and mid-sized businesses in our country were seriously threatened. During that time, everyone was looking for savings to keep afloat, and that is one big advantage we continuously offer as a payment processor. We welcomed innumerable merchants that year. This time, a lot more shifting is required for most businesses to stay in the game. For many, it took the government’s help, landlords’ help, help stashed in mattresses, some new skills, reinvented business models, and expanded and updated payment processing solutions to pull this one through. At MONEXgroup, every merchant has a dedicated account manager and being so close and so involved in someone else’s livelihood motivated us to do more and be of service.
With shifts and strict safety measures in place, our office got busy. We worked around the clock to provide restaurants with the ability to collect contactless payments on delivery and online through their own ordering apps. We were able to help brick-and-mortar stores launch their online shopping carts overnight, and once they reopened their physical stores, we secured special offers of two for one payment terminals to help them accept payments from a safe distance. The traditional business is finally picking up, which is great news for everyone.
A lot of inquiries, however, came our way from the unattended space. Our Contactless Only devices require just a tap to process a payment, whether paid by a debit card, credit or a mobile wallet. It is a plug & play solution, which means it easily integrates with any kiosk, a stand or a machine, and that is what makes it so attractive. With over 65,000 of our Contactless Only devices currently operating in Canada, we can clearly see the trend. The abandonment of cash and coin payments is real; we see it through our Tap & WashTM units at car wash bays, increased interest in our Tap to DonateTM solution by various charities, and contacts from parking operators looking to upgrade. Our solutions have also been installed at government highway tolls. The activity from our Contactless Only devices integrated to air & vac machines at all major gas stations across the country speaks to the same shift as well.
Vending innovators and operators are creatively searching for ways to comply better with the consumers’ new habits and their preference for contactless payments. For example, our partners at PizzaForno and their hot fresh artisan pizza from an automated pizza oven became a new, low touch food option during the pandemic. Many others are following their way; outdoor coffee machines, water stations, mask dispensing machines, portable hot food machines for offices and power drink machines for fitness facilities are just some of the projects in our pipeline. The best part is; those are all homegrown entrepreneurs.
Canadian ingenuity, sense of responsibility and care for each other have shown once again that together we move forward. While there is still much uncertainty ahead of us, without hesitation, Canadians are proactively reinventing. MONEXgroup team is excited to attend another trade show event, but until it is safe to engage in person again, we are ramping up our digital content to provide all the tools and the know-how to help businesses set themselves during emergencies as they go on to diversify and emerge differently.
Ozrenka (Olja) Blagojevic is the Marketing Communications Specialist for the Monex Group.