In a digital age, convenience is key
By Kate Northrop
The Washington Lottery is planning to rollout debit card payments for tickets at all its vending machines.
In an increasingly digital and cashless era, offering different modes of convenience is a necessity for businesses that aim to stand out and thrive. By accepting debit payments, the Washington Lottery hopes to make it easier for players who don't always have cash on-hand.
"We recognize the world is evolving into a cashless society," the Washington Lottery said on their website. "Many players carry little to no cash on a regular basis. Our goal is to make our players' lives more convenient by providing them the ability to purchase our products with debit cards at lottery vending machines."
Buying tickets with a debit card will be as easy as inserting a bill into a vending machine. After picking out the desired games and adding them to the virtual shopping cart at a vending machine, players can pick the Debit option at checkout, insert their card, punch in the zip code, and collect their tickets in the tray. A pin is not required to buy tickets.
The Shopping Cart feature was added to the vending machines to allow players who enjoy multiple types of games the ability to buy different tickets at once.
"Many players enjoy playing multiple lottery games, including Scratch and draw/jackpot games," the Lottery explained. "Using the Shopping Cart gives you the flexibility to add multiple tickets from different games, if you choose, before purchasing. Before you pay, you will also have the ability to edit your cart and delete or add additional products."
The debit card must either be swiped or have the chip inserted if applicable. Contactless payment, or tap to pay, is not currently an option, nor are credit card purchases.
Players will also not have to worry about transaction fees — the Lottery is covering the cost. There is also no minimum amount a player will have to spend to make a debit purchase. There is, however, a spending limit for lottery purchases at $700 over a seven-day period.
Those who do not prefer to pay with debit will still be able to pay with cash or reinvest winning tickets to buy lottery products, but all tickets must be bought either as an all-cash purchase or all-debit purchase — the payment method cannot be split in one transaction.
According to the Lottery, some pre-paid Visa/Mastercard cards may work at the vending machine, but it depends on the bank issuing the card.
"If the card does not work after being inserted, an error message will appear on the debit pen pad," the Lottery said of pre-paid card transactions. "What pre-paid cards are accepted is not a choice of the lottery or the retailer, but rather the bank issuing the card."
The Lottery is set to begin installing debit terminals at every one of their vending machines, so players should expect the service to gradually be available over time due to issues with supply chains that may cause a delay in the equipment arrival and installation process. Weekly updates on stores that have been updated with the debit reader will be available on the Lottery's official website.