MALVERN, PA -- USA Technologies is expanding its JumpStart cashless vending program, which is designed to make operator implementation fast and cost-effective.
JumpStart originally offered vending operators and bottlers the opportunity to acquire USAT's ePort Edge cashless terminal at no cost and to pay a low monthly service fee thereafter -- eliminating the need for substantial initial investment.
The ePort Edge, which won an Innovation Award from the National Automatic Merchandising Association at the recent OneShow in Chicago (see story), is a one-piece cashless reader and controller that accepts conventional swipe cards. It is equipped to comply with Payment Card Industry (PCI) Level 1 security requirements.
The swift success of JumpStart has led USAT to offer its state-of-the-art ePort G8 terminal as an option. The ePort G8 is a two-piece design with a reader bezel that can be mounted in a vender's standard bill validator opening, or surface-mounted up to three feet away from the controller. It not only reads magnetic-stripe cards, but also proximity cards like PayPass, payWave, Zip and ExpressPay. It can accommodate "m-commerce" transactions made with mobile phones equipped for near field communications, as well as First Data's Go-Tag, a "smart" sticker that can be affixed to a phone (or many other things) to provide NFC-like cashless capability.
Also new in JumpStart is a "GoBo" (Get one, Buy one) plan that enables operator customers to obtain hardware devices free of charge if they commit to purchasing the same number of devices by December 31 of this year.
The JumpStart package also includes USAT's comprehensive ePort Connect services package for wireless connectivity, card processing, consumer services and online reporting, as well as over-the-air (OTA) machine alerts.
USA Technologies president Stephen P. Herbert reported that JumpStart has been very successful to date. Operators have committed to take some 12,300 devices, he said, "and interest in the program continues to grow."
The JumpStart program has contributed to the number of cashless connections USAT has added to its USALive Network, and accounts for about 79% of ePort unit shipments during the quarter ended March 31, the company said. As of that date, there were some 73,000 devices connected to the USALive Network, which exceeded the company's goal of 71,000.
Herbert attributed this market acceptance to the simplicity USAT brings to what otherwise can be a complex and tedious process. "With ePort Connect, we take care of everything for our customers, from merchant account setup and wireless SIM activation, to business deployment planning and '24/7' customer service and support," he said.
Vic Pemberton, president of Pepi Food Services (Bainbridge, GA), noted that the program's orientation toward operating company needs and its straightforward approach are attractive.
"The JumpStart program is helping our company accelerate the deployment of the ePort cashless payment system in our vending machines," Pemberton reported. "Because we have no capital outlay, we can install ePorts quickly and enjoy the benefits right away. And with USAT helping us with deployment planning, we know we are putting the ePorts where they will make us the most money."
Information on the program may be had by calling USA Technologies at (800) 633-0340. The company maintains a website at usatech.com.