ATLANTA -- Apriva reports that it is working with MWJ llc, an operator of food concessions at the Atlanta Hartsfield International Airport, to provide a cashless payment option for 48 vending machines installed in airport concourses. The machines offer travelers a wide variety of food and beverage selections, ranging from Coca-Cola products to packaged snacks and ice cream.
"We operate in an environment where long concession lines and harried, time-pressed customers are the norm," said MWJ operations director Casandra Harmon. "Many times, passengers do not have the coins or bills required to make purchases at cash-only vending machines. Our cashless vending initiative allows us to better serve customers by giving them the convenience of paying by card if they choose, and avoiding the long lines of food courts between flights.”
Harmon reported that cashless systems have helped increase MWJ's sales by 18%, which she termed "a staggering number in our industry."
Apriva Vend, unveiled at this year's National Automatic Merchandising Association OneShow in Chicago, is designed to enable operators to integrate cashless vending into their operations in a cost-effective manner. The comprehensive service includes system hardware and software, wireless connectivity, reporting capabilities, and integration with leading payment processors and financial institutions. See story.
The Apriva Vend program also includes participation in Apriva's "Cashless Coach" program, providing operators with ongoing guidance and support to ensure peak performance.
According to Harmon, MWJ has witnessed steady growth in the usage of card-based payments. In 2008, MWJ reported that some 10% of all vending machine sales were cashless. This year, the company has seen that figure rise to 18%. Harmon feels that the growth in credit card sales has helped MWJ maintain a steady bottom line, even in a down economy.
"Accepting credit cards has allowed us to tap into a growing consumer market that has now become very comfortable with the notion of paying by card," Harmon explained. "In environments like ours, where customers may not have ready access to small bills and coins, it makes a noticeable difference in boosting sales."
MWJ also has found that cashless vending requires less time and labor than its cash operations, in which money must be collected, counted, bagged and sent to the bank.
Mollie Roseman, who oversees MWJ's financial operations, described the elements that contribute to this benefit. "From an accounting and financial performance perspective, cashless payments are far easier -- and less expensive -- to process than cash," she said. "From a reporting perspective, Apriva provides us with comprehensive data that allows us to keep tabs on the business on a continuous basis. These solutions have played a major role in allowing us to remain efficient and profitable."
"Operators like MWJ are proving that with the right locations and business profiles, cashless vending enables operators can grow sales and reduce costs across the entire business," said Apriva vice-president and general manager Bill Clark. "Its ability to provide new levels of convenience is proven to attract new customers, increase retention of existing ones, and improve profitability across the organization."
"The Apriva team has proven to be a responsive, knowledgeable, and vested partner," concluded Harmon. "They have made our transition to cashless solutions a completely positive experience."
Apriva, founded in 1999, is a leading provider of end-to-end wireless transaction and secure messaging solutions.