Technical Trends

The advances that have been made in vending technology have made the operation of vending machines more reliable and profitable. An increasing focus in the vending industry is the development of cashless payment systems. Many consumers prefer the convenience of electronic payment with either a debit or credit card. In fact, according to the Federal Reserve Board, electronic transactions far exceed payments made by check or cash. It is expected that many vending machines will be equipped with this new cashless payment technology, which has become more affordable and reliable for vending machine operators.

Not only are cashless payment systems on vending machines convenient to the consumer, but also vending operators are reporting higher sales, increased traffic, and customer satisfaction. By offering cashless payment systems, vending operators are able to offer vending products at a higher price level. As a result, there will be a major increase in the coupling of advanced data communication systems with vending machines.

Vending operators have also reported that cashless transactions have helped prevent against vandalism and vending machine theft. In fact, a recent survey disclosed that vending machine operators reported an immediate halt in vandalism and theft from vending machines once an electronic debit and credit card payment system was installed, completely replacing cash transactions. As a result of decreased theft and vandalism, vending operators are saving money on the repair of vending machines. And with the increase in electronic sales, operators are experiencing higher sales, proving that more vending machine technology will be sought out in the future.

Although there are proven advantages for cashless payment systems, there would not be much success in certain environments. For example, schools throughout the nation have multiple vending machines and most junior high and high school students do not have access to a credit or debit card. Therefore, technological advances have been made for cash transactions conducted at vending machines. At a recent convention, a company headquartered in Japan unveiled an intelligent bill validator system that can accept and dispense dollar bills. This technological advance in vending machine sales would enable vending machine operators to accommodate the need of premium vending products at a higher price level


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