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Issue Date: Vol. 52, No. 2, February 2012, Posted On: 2/28/2012

USAT's 2-Tier Pricing Option Discounts Cash Transactions

Emily Jed
vending, vending machine, cashless vending, USA Technologies, ePort Connect service, USAT two-tier vend pricing, discount for using cash

MALVERN, PA -- USA Technologies has announced the latest option available to operators using its ePort Connect service: two-tier vend pricing. This permits offering customers a discount for using cash.

USAT observed that the card associations allow operators to offer a discount for cash purchases, but the higher price for debit/credit cannot be positioned as an additional fee. The vending machine must clearly communicate to patrons that there are two vend prices: one for credit/debit purchases, and the other a lower, discounted cash price.

"You improve your margins by reducing your costs and increasing your sales and profits," USAT pointed out. "And your consumers get the convenience of using their credit and debit cards for payment at your machines." The system accommodates 5¢ adjustments; a 10¢ price differential is suggested.

The program is easy to implement, the company explained: all that's needed is to decide which accounts, and which machines, are to be converted to two-tier pricing, the difference in price between cash and card transactions and the date on which the change is to take place. This information is used to fill out an activation form for submission to USAT, at least a week before the date of implementation. The company's Jim Turner will assist in setting up the new arrangement, which will be accomplished automatically by means of ePort Connect's over-the-air update capability.

There is no charge for the first 12 machines adjusted for two-tier pricing; additional machines can be added at a one-time service fee of $10, which covers USAT's cost to update the machine over the air, and to make the necessary changes to the machine records in the operator's USA Live account.

"Consumer education is an important part of implementing two-tier pricing," USAT emphasized. "The two price points must be clearly articulated at the point of sale, so consumers understand the higher price for using their credit/debit cards at your machine."

The company recommends affixing a POS decal that explains the difference in price. Operators can obtain preprinted labels for the recommended 10¢ price difference, or generic labels on which alternative amounts can be filled in, directly from USAT. Operators also can print their own custom labels.

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