As businesses and consumers become more aware of and more familiar with what is needed to continue doing business in the new normal, a brighter light is emerging at the end of the tunnel in terms of the coronavirus pandemic – vaccines are becoming more available and the processes needed to get them into people’s arms more efficient. From a technology perspective, you may wonder which solutions that picked up steam during the past year will continue to gain momentum in the future.
One technology that has taken flight during the pandemic – and has immense potential for years to come – is the self-service market. As the economy reopens and shutdowns become less restrictive, early adopters of self-service kiosks are coming back with revamped versions of their previous kiosk’s solutions, while new adopters are considering the latest trends in the self-service market.
Read on to explore which industries are experiencing self-service market solution changes and key self-service technology predictions.
Which Industries are Experiencing Self-Service Market Changes?
Let’s take a closer look at which industries and solutions have been affected and needed some fine-tuning during the pandemic, and which were introduced as brand-new alternatives to existing technology.
- Healthcare and Service Providers: In the healthcare and service provider sectors, a few self-service trends have emerged. These industries have begun to require a more powerful queue management system, as well as additional features such as temperature screening, AI-powered engines, and expanded access control solutions like printing name badge labels for visitors who were cleared during the screening process.
- Banking: ATMs have recently gotten a facelift by providing additional human interaction. While ATMs are of course still a self-service solution, intelligent ATMs are pairing their automation power with a human touch by providing teller-customer communication through a speaker. The teller can answer questions, print full transactions, account details, and more.
- Retail and Hospitality: With the proliferation of online ordering, the buy-online-pickup-in store (BOPIS) model has become more popular than ever for restaurants and retailers. In some cases, it has even helped to keep businesses afloat that would not have delivery options otherwise. One popular update to the BOPIS model is the introduction of virtual lockers to pick up small-sized orders. The virtual lockers offer many options including the ability for consumers to obtain printed receipts at the locker (or virtually) instead of having to go inside the store.
Self-Service Market Technology Predictions
When we look into the future of the self-service market, many of the trends we expect to see revolve around creating fully contactless processes and transactions, improving on user experience, expectations, and their perception of feeling safe. These trends include:
1. QR Barcode Scanning / Cell Phone-Mirroring Screens
With QR barcode scanning and cell phone-mirroring kiosk screens, customers can turn their own smartphones into a remote kiosk navigation tool and can even complete payments on their own devices.
2. Touchless Touch Screens
These screens are quickly becoming part of the new standard for self-service kiosks. By using infrared (IR) and even sonar-based technologies, touchless touch screens allow users to interact without touching them, and in some cases they even allow gesture interactions.
3. New Biometric Tools
Biometric tools have been on the market for years but are experiencing updates. For example, Amazon One, available at select Amazon Go stores, uses the latest biometric technologies to allow users to pay with just a wave of their hand. Replacing fingerprint scanners that required direct contact with contactless palm scanners is something we expect to see more of in the self-service market.
4. Self-Cleaning Technologies
When touching is unavoidable, what could be better than a self-cleaning kiosk? Ultraviolet C (UVC) technology, which uses ultraviolet light to kill or inactivate germs, allows this to become a reality by ensuring the touchable areas of a kiosk are cleaned and ready for the next customer after each use. As more users become aware of the benefits that UVC technology offers, it may become something they expect in all self-service kiosks which will in turn encourage a stronger adoption of it within the self-service market.
The possibilities for the self-service kiosk market are truly endless, as the need for self-service has become more relevant and diverse than ever before. We’re excited to watch the market evolve.
Star Micronics Self-Service Solutions
Looking to expand your self-service offering? Star Micronics is proud to offer a wide variety of thermal kiosk printers capable of printing receipts, labels, tickets, and more. Ideal for virtually any self-service application, the printers include features like:
- A variety of paper sizes (2”, 3”, and 4”)
- Compact or modular footprints
- Multiple optional accessories like bezels, presenters, large paper roll holders, and more
- Interfaces like serial, USB, parallel, and Ethernet
- Operating system support for Windows, Linux, Android, Mac, and iOS
- StarPRNT emulation, allowing software developers to take advantage of all of Star Micronics’ technology like StarPRNT SDKs and its powerful line of drivers
- A dedicated integration team ready to help you build the right solution for your needs
Kiosk Printer Wizard
Star Micronics offers a full variety of self-service kiosk printers – but deciding which one fits your needs can be easy. This wizard will help you select the right printer for your specific use case, based on desired paper size, interface, footprint, operating system, accessories, and more factors.
Featured Kiosk Printers
2” Kiosk Printer
Compact and Lightweight
Supports Receipt, Ticket, or Label Media
3” Kiosk Printer
For Banking, ATMs, and More
Supports Receipt, Ticket, or Label Media
4” Wide Format Kiosk Printer
Easy Paper Width Adjustments
Want to learn more about Star’s self-service kiosk printing solutions?
With over 10 years of POS experience in the Americas, Augusto is Star Micronics’ Self-Service Kiosk Champion, providing expert advice and promoting kiosk initiatives across the market by incorporating innovative technologies, capitalizing on new trends, and identifying successful integrations across the channels.