Scientific Game

Striking the Right Note

For MEI it’s all about value and performance, and with SC Advance and EASITRAX, both were in ample supply at G2E

Tuesday, 20 November 2012 11:31
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SC Advance

Crinkled and tattered dollar bills aren’t the usual slick promotional tools you find at the Global Gaming Expo. But they proved quite effective for MEI, which employed them with impressive results to highlight some products that definitely raise the bar for cash management performance and efficiency.

The banknotes underscored the importance on the casino floor of bill acceptors that can quickly and consistently process the most badly used bills—“street grade,” as these are known—and how critical that is both in terms of keeping players happy and eliminating down time at the gaming machine.

“We want people to make educated decisions and think through the impact of street-grade currency and what it actually means to your profitability,” says MEI Marketing Director Andy Reichlin. “I think people value their peripherals more than they ever have. They recognize the correlation between happy customers and profitability.”

At last month’s 2012 Global Gaming Expo in Las Vegas, MEI showcased the advantages of its new SC Advance bill acceptor, the next-generation follow-up to the company’s stalwart CASHFLOW SC. The company is moving to the SC Advance because of the increased value it offers to casino customers.  As Mr Reichlin notes, “We introduced CASHFLOW in 2002, and it’s time; it’s been 10 years. There was some new technology that we wanted to introduce, especially in regard to the recognition system and how we do security.”

Not only is SC Advance designed to deliver what MEI hails as the industry’s best first-time acceptance rate for valid streetgrade notes, it’s packed with an array of valuable features besides:

• an improved recognition system, providing enhanced security;

• faster bill-to-bill speed, improving transaction times;

• expanded memory, allowing more currencies and denominations to be recognized;

• comprehensive bar code recognition, improving the processing of coupons and the acceptance of multi-width currencies;

• USB 2.0 upgrade, speeding up communications with the host machine and potentially expanding functionality;

• a second bar code to allow ticket acceptance in markets like Macau and the Philippines.

MEI took on the development of SC Advance carefully, Mr Reichlin says, reaching out to customers to let them know what the company was working on and asking for their input. Their advice, he says, was “don’t screw it up” and stay true to the core elements— security, speed, acceptance and cost of operation—that have made CASHFLOW work so well. That’s why SC Advance fits the same footprint as CASHFLOW SC, and all of the functionality developed for CASHFLOW SC has been incorporated into it. Moreover, it is completely backwards-compatible with CASHFLOW SC. The company also has assured its customers that it is committed to fully supporting CASHFLOW for the next seven years.

“The intent is that your fleet of CASHFLOW units will work with SC Advance,” Mr Reichlin says, “so the previous investments you’ve made with MEI will still provide a fantastic return on your investment.”

Combined with MEI’s EASITRAX Soft Count, which expands the reach of note acceptors from the slot floor to the count room, SC Advance provides a comprehensive cash management solution.

EASITRAX gathers data from multiple note acceptors and funnels that information into a secure, remote data base that can be accessed to track revenues and analyze slot performance. RFID technology connects slot machine asset numbers to a specific cash box to help eliminate “hot boxes” and increase operational efficiencies.

MEI has created a Web site (www. easitraxsoftcount.com) to offer more insight about EASITRAX. The site includes a savings calculator, which lets potential buyers estimate their return on their purchase. “Typically, we’re seeing less than a year payback,” Mr Reichlin says. MEI also offers what it calls “value-added trials” to allow customers to compare the performance of its products against those of its competitors.

MEI says it is close to exceeding 85,000 games globally using EASITRAX. Recently, the company got its first European installation at the new Hippodrome casino in London. It was a significant achievement. As Mr Reichlin notes, “We’ve had a lot of success in the US and Asia but never had an install in Europe.”

He says MEI expects to start shipping initial orders of SC Advance this month.

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