Philly’s Only Traditional Arcade Goes Cashless
University Family Fun Center bills itself as “Philadelphia’s only traditional arcade,” an urban venue close to several college campuses that thrives on local regulars and walk-in trade. When William Schoepe opened the former University Pinball in 1977 it was strictly pin games, with over a hundred flippers to choose from.
When Schoepe’s son Billy took over the arcade in 2009 he and his wife Rebecca remade it as an FEC, adding skeeball and table, video and redemption games. They changed from coins to tokens too, but it wasn’t until 2020 that the Shoepes finally made the switch from tokens to Intercard cashless technology. Billy calls it “the greatest thing I’ve ever done.”
Billy considered several vendors before choosing Intercard for its 30-year reputation for reliability and innovation, American manufacture and capability of controlling his more than 50 games. And while he’s maintained games since he was a teenager (“I’m one of the few people I know than can work on mechanical pinball machines from the 70’s and 80’s”), Billy is thrilled to do away with token and ticket jams and theft.
He is also excited about the “huge increase in purchasing” since the change to cashless. “Before, the most I would get was a twenty dollar bill for a hundred tokens, which to me was freaking phenomenal,” says Billy. “Now I can take credit cards. People can put in a hundred dollars and get the [game] credit price down to like, 18 cents a credit” which is a terrific value for customers.
Billy also enjoys the option to “cut” or spread a purchase over multiple game cards, which is popular with his customers. It increases customer spend and he hasn’t had to raise his prices to do it. “It’s a huge, huge benefit cutting cards. I’m making more money.”