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50 Leading Companies of the Year 2021

Transforming the Business of Fun: Embed, an Expert Cashless Business Management Solutions Provider, is Helping the Entertainment Industry Set its Priorities Right and Straight

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The proliferation of smartphones and constant access to high-speed Internet has made life easy. Today, customers prefer paying bills from their smart devices instead of waiting in long queues. It is time to make the most of this changing mindset to achieve a competitive edge in the market. Integrated solutions such as the Point of Sale system are another revolution in the era where technology is thriving, and businesses modify how they conduct transactions. POS and other cashless systems are emerging to be a resourceful combination of software and hardware that allows customers to make instant, secure, and cashless payments. It improves user experience, retains customers, simplifies price customization for every product, and keeps an accurate track record of previous purchases. Especially when it comes to Family Entertainment Center (FEC), it's important to have a fast, secure, and easy-to-use cashless system.

In light of the preceding, we’re pleased to present Embed—the worldwide leader of the integrated cashless business management systems and solutions for Family Entertainment, Amusement, and Attractions. The Embed solution provides operators with real-time visibility and control across its entire operation: a full range of games management, real-time prize inventory, from guest party planning and bookings via mobile to integrated point-of-sales, including bundles and upsell packages, and more.

The company was founded in 2011 and is headquartered in Singapore, with offices in Dallas, Dubai, Perth, and Sydney.

Renee Welsh, Embed CEO, spoke exclusively to The Silicon Review. Below is an excerpt.

Q. Can you tell us about your services in brief?

Embed is the worldwide leader in the integrated cashless business management systems and solutions. In essence, Embed is the cloud-based business-solution that FEC's use to manage their businesses' backend. From POS to prize redemptions, from kiosks and game cards to backend business reporting, central games management, party bookings via mobile, and the mobile wallet for contactless everything. Embed is the only FEC business solutions provider to partner with Google and Apple to gain compliance for the Embed system to place the virtual game card in the Mobile Wallet (for contactless gameplay that can be reloaded anytime, anywhere). This breakthrough makes Embed the only non-banking finance—payment or loyalty card business and brand card that sits in the mobile wallet. With over 1,000 customers and more than 3,000 installations worldwide, Embed is equipped and ready to empower FEC businesses with direct sales, services, and support anytime, anywhere.

Q. Why do you think there is a need for a dedicated platform for going cashless?

Going cashless has never been more critical than now, during the Low-Touch Economy. Consumers do not want to touch cash, tickets, coins, or any surface areas that carry viruses and germs for days. As anyone running a Family Entertainment Center can attest, the ticket dust and coin jams destroy expensive arcade games, equal operational downtime plus the hefty repair fees eating into revenue, and the high manpower cost of counting tickets and coins. There's no debate; going cashless to run a Family Entertainment Center is basic business practice. Best business practice is using software and hardware to manage the business, anytime and from anywhere efficiently. Low-touch products like Mobile Wallet increase overall safety and enable operators to mitigate risk and keep their customers, employees, and community safe.

Q. Can SMEs benefit from your solutions? If yes, how sustainable can it be for them?

Most certainly. Embed has customers, such as Apex Entertainment, who used the Embed solution with their first locations and grew from one location to four in three years. Our integrated business solution grows as the operator grows. They can start with one location and 10 games, and then expand to 200 locations and thousands of games. And the Embed solution will scale, from on-premise technology to cloud-based solutions to manage the entire empire. The entire solution has one objective: operational efficiency in managing the business, provide business performance transparency that enables an operator to make business decisions that drive revenue growth and profit.

Q. Brief us about the benefits of your Embed all-in-one solutions.

Our Mobile Wallet's unparalleled operational efficiency empowers the consumers to keep track of their balance and drives return visits with 100 percent transparent spend and game data for the FEC owner, who can use that data to offer promotions that drive return visits. Contactless payments reduce high operating costs to operators. In countries where we see an increase in hourly wages, the use of self-service kiosks has made it possible for our operators to reduce costs and increase revenue despite an ongoing pandemic. Suppose the operator is alerted a patron who visited their business has COVID. In that case, the operator can identify what games the person played and who played it afterward for tracking and tracing purposes. This is a very powerful measure intended to keep employees, customers, and the community safe. And there's a huge peace-of-mind knowing you have that capability at your fingertips.

Q. How do you leverage new technologies to improve the customer experience?

When it comes to technology innovation, Embed draws inspiration from an emerging technology in hyper-competitive industries, keeping a finger on the pulse of emerging consumer trends and consumer behavior. Embed is dedicated to supporting the operators of the future. As innovators in this category, Embed partners with amazing partners (operators and tech players such as, Google, Apple, and Amazon) who have a long-term view and shared commitment to the evolution of the family entertainment and attractions industry. After piloting the technology with partners, Embed then builds the system for the rest of the market.

Meet the Visionary

Renee Welsh serves as the Chief Executive Officer of Embed. With a background in travel, events, marketing, and eCommerce, she has a long history of award-winning entrepreneurship. Mrs Welsh founded her first start up, RedBalloon in 2001, and later an online booking platform, GoDo in 2005. She became the General Manager at Wotif Group, overseeing the marketing, product, social media, sales and CRM teams for travel.com.au and godo.com.au. In 2012, she co-founded award-winning Booking Boss, a cloud-based booking and ticketing solution, with her husband Andy Welsh. Booking Boss won ‘Best Software Product of the Year 2014’, ‘Australian Business Awards 2014’, and Silver — ‘NSW Tourism Awards 2016’.

Mrs Welsh was named ‘Entrepreneur of the Year 2016’ by Travel Weekly. After a year, she sold Booking Boss to Helix Leisure in 2017 and joined as CEO of Helix Leisure’s Solutions Group in April 2018, responsible for two of Helix’s companies—Embed and Booking Boss. 

Mrs Welsh’s industry-transforming achievements are evident in her fearless leadership during the pandemic. When COVID-19 was declared a pandemic, she and the Embed executive team were determined to bring the light when others were retreating and going dark, by bringing the entire industry together, from thought-leaders to the titans of industry, and demonstrated Embed’s commitment to the industry’s recovery by leading Embed through a dramatic pivot to deliver a series of initiatives that helped pull the industry through the pandemic crisis.

In 2020, Embed won ‘AMOA Operators Choice Award 2020’ for The Mobile Wallet, ‘Top 10 Most Promising Gaming Tech Solutions Provider 2020’, just to name a few.

“We are in the business of fun. We are a mix of next-generation IT and industry insiders working to transform the business of fun.”

— Renee Welsh