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CBORD, Washlava partner to revamp campus laundry

Andrew Hudson   ||   Aug 31, 2018  ||   ,

Campus card vendor, CBORD has reset its sights on campus laundry with a new exclusive partnership with laundry solutions provider, Washlava. The partnership’s intent is to deploy the Washlava laundry reader and backend system on campuses across the country and redefine the campus laundry environment.

Washlava is new to the campus market, but the product has already found success in other environments.

“Washlava is an advanced technology that lets users reserve and pay for vended laundry machines with their smartphones,” says Todd Belveal, CEO of Washlava. “Its purpose is to upgrade these services for laundry users as well as disrupt and transform the antiquated, coin and card-enabled, vended laundry industry.”

Washlava traces its roots back to retail laundromats in Florida and New York, where early results exceeded expectations. “In those deployments, the technology and user experience resulted in equipment productivity and revenue increases as high as 60%,” says Belveal.

Laundromats outfitted with Washlava have since gone on to serve more than 3,000 unique customers.

“We are just beginning our campus expansion, hence our partnership with CBORD,” Belveal says. “In 2016 and 2017, a live pilot was conducted on the campus of the University of Florida, with Washlava technology on LG machines. The results were off the charts.”

In the University of Florida pilot students exclusively used Washlava, and in exit surveys expressed a 12-to-1 preference for Washlava over coins and cards.

“Most people tell me that Washlava is a ‘no-brainer’ for college laundries,” says Belveal. “The empirical data we gathered supports that position. It's what students want, and frankly, what they expect.”

Moving to campus

Following its early successes in traditional laundromat environments and a proof-of-concept on a college campus, Washlava is now prepped for the university market at a grander scale thanks largely to its strategic partnership with CBORD.

“CBORD is currently Washlava’s only partner that accepts campus card accounts as a payment method,” says Sue Chaffee, CBORD. “A CBORD or Washlava representative will work directly with the campus to plan their deployment.”

It's simple. We don't make money until the campus does. A reasonable installation charge that covers hardware is coupled with a flat, per transaction fee. The platform is available to any campus, but only CBORD campuses can use the student ID card as the primary, or exclusive, method of payment in the app. Non-CBORD campuses use only credit or debit cards as forms tender.

CBORD campus clients can also expect a seamless transition to the new laundry solution. “Some of the questions we will ask are related to the machines currently in use and how they’re distributed, as well as the current per load price,” explains CBORD’s Chaffee. “These parameters will be evaluated, and a quote will be provided that includes the scope of work and university responsibilities.”

Rounding out the partnership is a seamless integration between Washlava and CBORD’s GET platform. “The Washlava mobile app integrates directly with the GET platform for patron authentication, so the university must either have GET in place or it will be implemented at the same time as Washlava,” says Chaffee.

Washlava feature set:

  • Machine reservations
  • Payment for laundry with campus card account
  • Cycle notifications
  • Machine monitoring
  • Push notifications
  • 24/7 customer support
  • Seamless refunds
  • Remote machine monitoring, automated error reporting, and machine control for operators
  • Secure card tokenization and PCI compliance for campuses that accept credit/debit cards
  • Card technology agnostic

Washlava is keen to provide an on-demand formula not typically seen in campus laundries. “The platform offers students real-time visibility into machine availability, the ability to hold a machine for a few minutes so they have time to get to the laundry room, real-time notifications when their laundry is done, along with seamless payments, receipts and transaction history,” says Belveal.

Belveal sees the need to focus on end users and their laundry experience. “It’s more than just providing digital payments,” he says. “The system brings a high level of control, and support to both students and administrators, making laundry less of a chore.”

Washlava represents an update to the traditional amenities offered by laundry equipment and service providers. It’s a service that may also justify a greater end user investment.

“In most cases, we find that colleges and universities have not increased vend rates for laundry in decades,” says Belveal. “As a result we encourage campuses to consider a higher per cycle rate, since the superior laundry experience Washlava delivers merits it.”

Belveal and the Washlava team tested the higher vend prices at UF and did not receive major objections from users. “We can also impact revenue with our real-time price management capability,” he adds.

“Universities that offer Washlava to their students are providing a level of service that’s unmatched with other laundry solutions,” says CBORD’s Chaffee. “The level of service and technology empowers universities to increase their laundry rates and turn laundry rooms into profit centers. Moreover, better reporting provides the transparency the university needs to maximize efficiency which may result in less machines.”

The future of campus laundry

While the solution is still on the verge of widescale deployment, excitement about this new entry to the campus laundry space couldn’t be higher.

“Washlava is an ideal solution for any university laundry operation, but what’s intriguing is how the deployment might change after using Washlava for a short time,” says CBORD’s Chaffee. “The reporting offers transparency and helps universities better manage their operation. If used to their advantage, the technology can drive more cycles through fewer machines, helping to improve efficiency and eliminate laundry frustration.”

Belveal is also ready for the solution to realize its potential on campus. “As far as installation goes, we could do all of a university’s residence halls during a single break, or phase them in at any time and any pace the institution chooses,” he says. “But students overwhelmingly want the latest technology, and holding onto expensive, obsolete coin-op or card kiosk hardware makes little or no sense.”

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