Partnership with Route Laundry Operator + Game-Changing Technology
Automatic Laundry Services (ALS) is a leading family-owned provider of laundry management services in the Northeast US market, with over 50 years experience in managing and servicing community laundry facilities. Their focus on customer service, quality equipment and ethical practices are what make them the preferred choice of many property managers and real estate management companies.
Humble Beginnings to Mobile Payment Pilot
In 2016, ALS partnered with KioSoft, starting out on a traditional laundry card platform. A year later, KioSoft presented the idea of offering mobile payments with compatibility to its payment readers.
“KioSoft made it clear to us that they wanted to help us grow and stand out in a very hardware heavy industry.”
KioSoft addressed ALS’s concerns regarding control of data from the mobile app, managing their own backend, and enabling ALS branding. The answers were a “Yes” across the board to meet all of the ALS’s criteria.
KioSoft brought the concept to fruition quickly and piloted with ALS in 12 ALS locations by the end of 2017.
Our Pilot Project
The pilot project in 12 locations played a key role in what is now the mobile payment app’s success story. The goal from the beginning was for the process to be made simple for the benefit of end-users, so 3-step instructional stickers were prominently placed by every reader with direction on how to use the mobile app. “Within a month, 50% of residents from class B and C properties were using the app so we knew really we had something“. Shortly after the pilot run, ALS moved quickly to adopt the KioSoft developed products company-wide.
Fast forward to today, 90% of ALS installations have a mobile capability – it may be by itself, or with coin or laundry card as supplements, but all have mobile capability. This forward-thinking innovative technology played a key role in the rapid growth of ALS as an organization. Meanwhile, KioSoft has grown alongside ALS, continuously developing the app to offer improved functionality for users, while consistently improving the management portal features.
“KioSoft has always been remarkably responsive and it has been a great learning experience for me, as someone who has been in the industry for 33+ years. I continue to learn something new every single day and am looking forward to more technological advancements.“
The demographics between properties can vary significantly, which is why KioSoft focuses on payment flexibility to satisfy all payment preferences. There are those who are tech savvy and there are also those who prefer paying “the old-fashioned way” (such as seniors), so its important to cater to everyone.
“In the event of an internet outage, we are still in business as transactions still process, plus we have laundry card, credit/debit card and value card payment options. The payment flexibility has definitely enhanced our ability to do business.“
The new Ultra Readers allow customers to pay at the machine with not only their credit cards or mobile payment app but also Apple Pay or Google Pay. It is a game-changing technology for laundry facilities looking for a cashless solution. This full solution technology can be purchased from ALS given an existing service relationship, so the offering has successfully attracted new prospective customers.
Overcoming Challenges Together
The biggest challenge route operators face is connectivity in the laundry room. Because these rooms are often located underground in basements, it’s absolutely crucial to have products that work despite unreliable connectivity conditions. KioSoft provides a critical Bluetooth and Wi-Fi network infrastructure that overcomes the inherent challenge of intermittent connectivity.
The Future with ALS & KioSoft
Mobile pay is just in its infancy, and there is a lot more evolution to come, but KioSoft and ALS are well positioned to meet these challenges. One of their mutual goals is to put an end to web-based campus laundry solutions as students live on their phones, not their computers. Together, they’ve already implemented the mobile payment app on 6 campuses, and it has been very well adopted. Campuses have a large number of laundry machines and often require a high level of service attention due to user frustration, but the mobile payment app makes it all seamless. Indeed the app is a game changer.
“Since Partnering with KioSoft, we have seen increases in revenue and great reviews on the app – averaging about 4.5/5 on both Google and Apple, with outstanding comments. KioSoft has also always been very responsive to our feedback and ideas.“