Cashless system coming to Waldameer

Posted Saturday, February 13, 2010 2:41 PM | Contributed by MidwavePC

Waldameer is spending $500,000 on a cashless payment system. Patrons will have bar codes on their wristbands and use swipe cards to pay for single rides, play games and buy food and souvenirs.

Read more from The Erie Times-News.

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Monday, February 15, 2010 1:12 PM
Acoustic Viscosity's avatar

Call me old-fashioned, but I prefer to pay by cash or credit card. If the new system would allow me to use a credit card that I don't have to load up with an estimated amount of money to spend for the day, I'd be fine with that, but I don't like the idea of having to put money onto a card and then have to make sure I use all of the money on the card or find a way to get my unused money back.

I don't see how scanning a wristband is better at preventing free rides than taking tickets. Doesn't there still have to be an attendant at the turn-style to make sure people use the system correctly?


AV Matt
Long live the Big Bad Wolf

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Monday, February 15, 2010 1:21 PM
Jeff's avatar

Using a credit card for many smaller transactions is convenient for you, and a nightmare for merchant fees.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Silly Nonsense

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Monday, February 15, 2010 1:27 PM

Which is why whenever I see a gas station with exorbitant card-versus-cash rates, I'm tempted to fill my tank in $1 increments. :)


Brandon | Facebook

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Monday, February 15, 2010 1:28 PM
Morté615's avatar

Of course then they can just tie your wristband into your credit card. Pre-auth a certain amount, then when that amount is reached or upon leaving, finalize the charge. That way the merchant only gets one transaction fee (I think, or possibly 2. Not sure how merchant fees handle the pre-auths. Think gas station pay at pump.) and the guests have the convenience of using the wrist band all day.

I can see how a system like this would be great in a water-park, or theme-park where you don't want to carry a wallet and cash to risk losing on the rides.


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Monday, February 15, 2010 1:42 PM
ridemcoaster's avatar

Sounds like the Disney Room key concept to me, and has been very successful to them for quite a while.

Just gotta be careful with room key losses and reporting it QUICKLY, as most places at Disney dont check name/signature sadly.. (one major issue Ive had with the "Keys to the World" program).

Other than that, just gotta be careful to go over the typical $1000 limit initially set.


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Monday, February 15, 2010 5:07 PM

Avalanche Sam said:
Where is the information about passes? I didn't see anything on their site.

-Sam

It is on the right side of this page

http://www.goerie.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20100214/NEWS02/302139877

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Monday, February 15, 2010 10:19 PM
Acoustic Viscosity's avatar

I am well aware of that, Jeff, and I'd rather not use the credit card because of that. I'd rather pay with cash or any other way that doesn't require me to estimate how much money I need to put on a Wallycard. It's just more incentive to not buy anything inside the park. "Hmmm, I'm thirsty. I want a to buy a tasty Mountain Dew. Oh wait, I have to get one of those frickin' Wallycards first. Never mind. It's not worth the effort."

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Tuesday, February 16, 2010 3:35 AM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

Morté615 said:
Of course then they can just tie your wristband into your credit card. Pre-auth a certain amount, then when that amount is reached or upon leaving, finalize the charge.

That's apparently exactly how it works.

•Open-to-buy with limits, for accounts funded by credit card, with automated credit card settlement at end of day.

•Fixed amount spending, for accounts funded with cash, with refund at POS at end of day.

Lots of good info on that page if you read through it.


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Tuesday, February 16, 2010 12:58 PM
Acoustic Viscosity's avatar

If Waldameer makes use of the "funded by credit card" option, that's a huge plus. BUT, I am curious to see how this is going to affect lines to buy admission and get your Wallycard. If they can set up the card for you when you buy your POP and it doesn't take more than a few seconds, it won't really hold things up. But if you have to get in line somewhere else just to get one of the cards so you can buy stuff, that's gonna be really annoying.


AV Matt
Long live the Big Bad Wolf

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Tuesday, February 16, 2010 1:08 PM
Jason Hammond's avatar

At one of the off season events, Steve talked about a seminar they all went to on credit card payments. IIRC, he said they will be implementing high speed credit card payment machines. They came to the realization that everyone including the kids seem to be carrying cards now and they needed to accept it and deal with it. Though cash will, of course, still be accepted as well.


854 Coasters, 34 States, 7 Countries
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Tuesday, February 16, 2010 2:23 PM

This would be great for school picnics. Parents could just load up a card and not have to worry about the kids walking around (and losing) cash. Sure a kid could lose a card too, but not as easily as loosely wadded bills stuffed into a pocket.

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Tuesday, February 16, 2010 2:32 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

Yeah, but a lost card can be quickly deactivated and a new one issued.


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Tuesday, February 16, 2010 2:53 PM

Let the kids use traveler's checks. :)

For lunches, a lot of schools allow kids to use accounts rather than cash to buy lunch. Kids just need to remember their number (or have the check out person look it up on a list). Mom and dad can check the balance on the card and re-load it as necessary.

As a general matter, I am in favor of going cashless whenever possible. I rarely carry any cash. Total pain when its needed.

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Tuesday, February 16, 2010 3:09 PM
ridemcoaster's avatar

Guess having a PIN rules out getting beat up for your lunch money, or at least adds another step in obtaining it.


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Tuesday, February 16, 2010 3:17 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

My kids' schools reluctantly accept cash.

I'm pretty sure they have to, but they make it quite clear that it's not the preferred option.

I like doing it all electronically. I usually just pay it every month like any other bill (although every year I consider just loading it up at the beginning for the entire school year, but never do). You have the choice of making funds available for lunches only or for a la carte items as well. You can set the level when you get notified that funds are running low. It's all very convenient and easy.


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Tuesday, February 16, 2010 3:39 PM

I just reloaded my daughter's lunch card online yesterday. System is set up to send you an email when the account gets below a limit that you set. It took me less than 2 minutes to reload the card which should take her until the end of the year if not beyond. A lot easier than giving the kids cash or writing a check and sending it to school.

Our schools also have snack carts which I find amazing. We wonder why so many kids have obesity issues when we are pushing dessert carts around the school in the afternoon. And water bottles are all the rage. My kids in 1st and 3rd grades were two of about 10 kids in a school of about 350 kids who didn't have a water bottle with them at all times. No idea why kids need constant access to water when they are walking around a temperature controlled building but to most parents, its a big issue.

Auto phone notice system is great too. Though it does take some of the fun away from listening to the radio in the morning hoping for a snow day.

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Tuesday, February 16, 2010 5:10 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

Seems we have a lot of the same school things with our kids.

We have the water bottle issue too, but it's the school that keeps insisting the kids need water bottles. My kids don't take them regularly. (hardly at all, actually) But the school keeps sending reminders - especially early and late in the year when temps are higher - that they recommend sending a water bottle with the kids.

The phone notice is indeed sweet. Got a call last night at 8:49pm letting us know school was canceled today. I'll take sleeping in over the old "is it gonna be closed" excitement of the morning. ;)


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Tuesday, February 16, 2010 6:38 PM
ridemcoaster's avatar

Yeah.. about that Gonch.. Remind me not to work in Dayton during this time of the year again.. Sheesh... Not much to do and Airports closing thus preventing me to fly home = unhappy ridem..


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Tuesday, February 16, 2010 11:24 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

Oh yeah. People around here don't know what to do with the snow. It's enough to mae you crazy.

Already got the call tonight. 2 hour delay tomorrow. No idea why.


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Wednesday, February 17, 2010 9:51 AM

You need to stay away from places that routinely get snow but not a lot of it. Northeast Ohio gets a fair amount of snow and generally, the first snow of the season, people forget how to drive in it and its a disaster. But after that, most people settle down and there aren't many problems. But when I lived in Columbus (which got some snow but not a lot though this year has been different), every snowfall was like the first snow fall of the season.

Schools today are water and cold idiots (and unfortunately we are raising a generation that will be water and cold idiots as well). You are not going to die, get dehydrated or have other health issues if you are not drinking at all times while you are awake. And you are not going to freeze or get sick if you go out in the cold (with or without a hat, gloves or boots on). I think that some of the school administrators actually believe that garbage when it comes to the cold/snow. But in reality, I think whats really behind the unexplained/unjustified snow days and late starts is they just view the 5 snow days (which I believe is going to 3 next year in Ohio) as vacation days and do not want to get up early to clear their driveway so they delay the start of school.

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