So far as a tenanted pub industry we have failed to convince tenants to refill machines and thereby optimise income.

Worse. By allowing that to happen we have produced a way of operating that is sub-optimal for all parties in the supply chain namely operator; pubco; tenant and customer.

We all know the benefits of refilling. You can see it on managed sites as clear as day. We all believe we know the reasons why a tenant does not refill. The sin is that we don’t collectively do anything about it. Instead we choose to investigate meter variances, service statistics, shortfalls and castigate the collector for not having enough change, not because these actions guarantee a huge benefit, but because it’s easier to do those things and demonstrate that we are in supposedly in control.

It is all about to change with CITO/TITO and cashless payment systems. The responsibility in the supply chain for cash handling is about to turn upside down! The benefits are too great for all to be ignored.

No more hoppers. No more recyclers. No more refilling. Hurrah!

Let’s move on! The new ground work and the new cash handing rules now need to be put in place for the relationship between tenant; pubco and operator. Each party must clearly understand their role and obligations in the new supply chain. Legally, everyone must be certain that they will receive their share of income, accurately and on time. It will require new levels of trust. It will require new consent letter and an understanding of the penalties for non-compliance by each party written in a simple and clear way.

There’s also a huge cost benefit to this momentous change. Simpler operating. Simpler cash handling. Greater security. Fewer moving parts. Fewer service calls. More machine uptime. Improved cashflow. I could go on, but the greatest benefit will be a new relationship between the parties – a REALationship. Each party will really have to trust each other – at last!

Collective action by tenanted businesses to gain traction through education and training in order to encourage those who are funding the development of cashless solutions is now essential. These entrepreneurs need not only the encouragement of their pubco customers, but the certainty that their investments will bear fruit and have longevity.

Education and training are the most important criteria for a pubco and an operator to understand and invest in. The digital gaming boffins will do the rest as they have so ably demonstrated to date.