GREENVILLE, SC - PayKey USA Inc., which formally introduced its cashless payment system for vending at the National Automatic Merchandising Association 2002 annual expo, reports that its acceptance by operators and customers alike has been swift and gratifying.
Developed in Italy and widely used in Europe, the "PayKey" system uses durable "keys" , microelectronic circuitry embedded in tough plastic , as data storage devices. Customer keys store value and are read by vending machines when a purchase is made. Route personnel use keys to retrieve sales information from the machines.
Rounding out the system is the "PK1," an MDB-compatible device that mounts in the vending machine to interface with the keys, and a computer management system including a "base station" for programming and valuing keys, as well as a software package. A novel feature of the "PayKey" system is that patrons can add value to their keys right at the vending machine.
After field testing in vending locations from Texas to New York, the PayKey system has proven its ability to enhance customer convenience and satisfaction, while giving operators the competitive edge of an inexpensive, practical and popular cashless payment medium.
Donna Gettys district manager for Atlas Food Systems and Services Inc., (Greenville, SC) likes the concept. "'PayKey' is innovative; the wave of the future," she said. "I believe that 'PayKey' gives me a competitive edge over other vending service providers.
"Our customers love using their 'PayKeys,' and I have heard numerous customers comment on how easy the system is to use," she added. "One of the managers even told me that he likes using it, because he can charge the key with his pocket change."
Gerald Zamarron, Z Vending (Dallas), reported the "PayKey" system he has tested is saving him time and labor on the route and in the money room. The "PayKey"-equipped machines generate fewer coins to collect and count," he said; "my money handling has become much easier."
One of the first locations to receive "PayKey"-equipped machines was Faurecia, a manufacturing company in Fountain Inn, SC. According to human resources director Neile Bramlette, "'PayKey' is a value-added service to my employees. I have received many favorable comments about 'PayKey', and my employees enjoy the convenience and ease of use. They don't have to carry coins, and I never hear them complain that a machine will not take their money. I look forward to being able to give discounts for my employees on their PayKeys in the future." He is confident that employees eventually will welcome a completely cashless environment, he added.
Faurecia employee Corretta Makins is convinced. "'PayKey' is easier than using money, because I don't have to worry about the machine not taking my wrinkled-up dollar bills," she said.
Atlas's Gettys observed that another plus for the PayKey system is its simplicity. "'PayKey' is an easy system for me to implement with my vending attendants," she said. She is convinced of the system's ability to save money for Atlas through its ability to reduce service and maintenance of payment systems, minimize money handling costs and encourage sales through its ease and convenience.
Wrute to PayKey USA Inc. 122C Old Mill Rd., Greenville, SC 29607; tel. (864) 527-4408; paykeytech.com.