In 2014, contactless payment systems became available to operators in the U.S.
Around the same time, vending companies started pushing cashless systems for vending machines. By 2017, many operators deployed cashless payment methods and realized significant revenue growth – in some cases beyond 500%, with an average increase across millions of machines of 30% Gross Revenue Growth! But challenges have appeared suddenly.
Are vending machines losing their touch?
Today, vending machines are in trouble. And vending income has taken a hit. Not only has the worldwide covid-19 pandemic dropped the numbers of people in offices and primary venues where vending machines are located, but even the people present who would have used the machines in the past are weary of touching vending machines today. For nearly half of global consumers (46%), using contactless payment methods is among the most important safety measures to follow. Contactless is so important in a COVID World that today, nearly eight-in-10 consumers worldwide have changed how they pay in order to reduce contact.
Many good, functioning machines out there only accept coins or cash, and a smaller number will let you swipe a credit card. What used to be a cash cow is now turning into dead meat. And while some vending machines already offer contactless payment options such as card tap, Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Samsung Pay – if your vending machines are not contactless, you are going to continue to feel the pinch on income.
The future of vending is now
COVID has changed the world. And even after COVID is no longer an issue, there is no question that consumer patterns will have changed for good. Consumer confidence in contactless payments is high and 57% said they would continue using contactless payments post-pandemic. Contactless payments have increased from 4-5 percent in 2019 to almost 30% today! Add to that the facts that 1 in 5 consumers don’t carry cash but do carry a cellphone, as well as the rising number of consumers using contactless payments even for small purchases.
The benefits are clear
contactless vending not only delivers safety benefits. It is having a direct impact on sales, especially by saving the business of consumers who want a contactless purchasing experience.
Truly touchless vending experiences are driving substantial revenue where traditional cash and credit are gone, with retailers reporting that cashless payments have increased revenue by 30%!
The addition of management reports, inventory management and remote capabilities enables rich consumer insights, performance tracking and improved operational efficiency. Operators can streamline the supply chain by tracking inventory, replenishing stocks, and conducting remote diagnostics, thereby lowering operating costs and allowing higher revenue margins.
The right solution, right now
If your vending business does not have contactless payments and your machines are not truly touchless enabled, that does not mean that you are out of luck.
There are a few companies that can offer an immediate, cost effective plug and play solution. But you need to be careful not to get stuck with a partial solution, especially when what you need to succeed is a robust, future-proof contactless payment solution right away.
The critical things you need to ensure that you can receive from your solution provider are:
- EMV payment reader unit that can accept multiple cashless payments (such as EMV, Credit, Mobile)
- The ability to handle all payment modes: QR Codes, EMV Contactless, EMV Contact, and Magstripe
- A seamlessly integrated Terminal Management System that delivers real-time telemetry data, alerts, and reports
- A Software Development Kit (SDK) and Comprehensive APIs
- Full NFC support, with camera, QR Code scanner and BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy)
- Robust indoor/outdoor functionality
- Comprehensive Support and maintenance
To sum up, many operators are seeing similar revenue growth by deploying contactless payments in a COVID world, where consumers are moving away from swipe and contact payment methods towards contactless payments that are safer. Picking the right payment solutions provider will ensure that this is accomplished seamlessly, painlessly and in a cost-effective manner, ASAP!