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Issue Date: Vol. 50, No. 9, September 2010, Posted On: 8/18/2010

USAT Sees Cashless Vending Adoption Rate Accelerating

Emily Jed
USA Technologies, USAT, Jim Turner, ePort, ePort Connect, cashless vending, vending, vending machine, vending machine business, snack machines, vending machine operator, automatic merchandising, Southern Refreshment Services, credit card usage

MALVERN, PA -- USA Technologies Inc. said customer feedback and its latest performance data suggest that the adoption of cashless payment technology is accelerating.

The company recently announced that it had increased the number of devices connected to its network by approximately 9,000 during the quarter ended June 30, bringing the total to more than 82,000 units. This compares with approximately 52,000 a year earlier.

In addition, USAT said it added approximately 150 new customers to the ePort Connect service during the three-month period, bringing the total number of customers using its cashless technology to approximately 1,050. It expects to have 100,000 ePort devices using ePort Connect by yearend.

USAT attributed the acceleration to the sales gains vending operators using its cashless solution are recognizing, along with improved margins and net operating profit. It said more operators are reporting that their customers often request cashless payment systems during contract negotiations.

Southern Refreshment Services (Tucker, GA) was an early adopter of the company's ePort cashless system. Since 2005, when it first installed cashless technology, annual cashless sales per machine reportedly have more than doubled to $1,816, and top-performing machines are now averaging $2,249.

Results from 41,000 beverage, food and snack venders connected to the USALive Network over the latest 18-month period showed that vending machines were averaging $1,508 in annual credit/debit card purchases, and that the top 10,000 vending machines were averaging $2,973 in cashless sales annually.

Cashless has reportedly risen to 21% of all sales during the period, and to 26% for the top 10,000 machines. This represents a 6% increase over the prior -year period for the same 41,000 machines, according to Jim Turner, USAT's vice-president for ePort deployment.

Southern Refreshment reported that college snack machines showed 44% cashless usage during the 18-month period, while its vending machines at the Georgia World Congress Convention Center (Atlanta) were at 59%. Southern Refreshment's vending machines at hospitals and banks were showing credit/debit sales at 25% cashless usage.

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