The payments landscape in vending has long been evolving, and the rapid growth of contactless payment on the high street is clearly having an impact. With 1 in every 3 payments now being contactless according to trade association UK Finance, it’s clear that consumers enjoy the speed and convenience it offers.

The good news for vending operators is that Tap & Go technology for open and closed payments on machines is already available, making the complete removal of cash-based vending (and all its downsides) more of a reality. However, many suppliers are still offering these different methods as separately managed solutions, making them costly to install and difficult to manage.

What vending operators really need is a future-proof payment system that combines the payment types they want now, but also offers the flexibility to add more in the future without having to invest in a whole new system.

In addition to this, it’s important not to overlook the other advantages on offer when cashless payments are part of the solution. Benefits to the operator can include reduced costs, real time management information, quicker payments, options for customised loyalty and promotions, and most importantly time saved on administration of the system. For the consumer a good user experience, speed and loyalty rewards can keep them coming back and increase spend.

Ultimately, what customers really want from a vending machine is convenience – choice, speed and 24/7 availability. For vending operators, it’s about keeping costs down and increasing sales through better customer engagement. Having a flexible and integrated payment system in place is key to achieving all of this.

Nick Bate,
Managing Director, VMC UK Ltd

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