by Staff Sgt. Omari Bernard, Creech AFB, Nev.
Push it, swipe it, scan it! These are some of the instructions you may hear at the Guardian Dining Facility at Creech Air Force Base, Nev., as the facility recently gained the ability to accept credit, debit and payment from smart devices as of Dec 3, 2020.
The new system is a quality of life improvement for service members and contractors to easily use the base dining facility.
“This project is part of a larger effort to modernize DFACs across the Air Force,” said Capt. Brenton, 432nd Force Support Flight commander. “It has been a long time coming and this technology has been around forever.”
According to Brenton, the issues that prevented this from being implemented earlier were credit card and banking transaction fees. The services agency worked with the U.S. Treasury Department to build this program so that the fees aren’t levied on to the purchaser or the DFAC.
“The processing fees aren’t going to anyone,” Brenton said. “It’s covered by the U.S. government, so that’s a big win since this is something that everyone has been asking for forever.”
Brenton said that the program was initially supposed to be rolled out in March to installations; however, it was delayed due to COVID-19 restrictions. To get the payment machines up and running, the services agency had to send teams out to each installation to troubleshoot and set up the systems. Not all bases have the system yet since the implementation is still in progress.
“In the few days that the payment machines have been implemented, we have seen our cash flow cut in half,” said Kenneth, Guardian DFAC supervisor. “It’s safe to say that people are using the new payment systems.”
Kenneth also predicted that as word gets out about the new option at Creech Air Force Base even more people will use it.
“Our customers are very excited about it,” said Alisa, Guardian DFAC accountant. “They like the idea of being able to use their card or phone instead of going to the ATM and paying a fee if they don’t have the provider.”
Alisa stated that with COVID-19 affecting the availability of coins and cash, this upgrade couldn’t have come at a better time. Although the upgrade was not implemented because of the pandemic, the benefits are already being seen. Diners at Creech AFB now have a contactless method of payment available to safely and conveniently pay for their meals.