SAN FRANCISCO -- New cashless vending technology from Cantaloupe Systems enables consumers to make purchases from machines using their credit cards, eliminating the need for coins or bills. Called Seed Cashless, the system makes use of the existing Seed vending machine monitor, offering operators an easy upgrade path.
Cantaloupe's Seed system monitors and reports all vending machine purchases in real time over the Web, potentially enabling vendors to save time and money, boost profits and reduce fuel consumption. Seed Cashless is designed to offer additional benefits for consumers, operators and commercial property managers where vending machines are placed, Cantaloupe explained.
Consumers get more convenient access to products, since they can make their purchases with the debit or credit cards they've become accustomed to using for small purchases, without having to assemble piles of coins.
Operators have been constrained by the "$1 price barrier," but now can offer a broader product variety and boost profit margins while enhancing price flexibility.
The integration of Seed Cashless with Cantaloupe's real-time reporting tools will give vendors end-to-end profitability reports that incorporate processing, servicing and product costs as well as credit card fees. Cashless vending also eliminates shrinkage, ensuring that operators receive all the funds to which they are entitled.
Location owners and managers who host vending machines will see their incomes rise as consumers spend more for a wider variety of products.
"When we designed Seed, we had cashless in mind from day one," said Cantaloupe chief executive officer Mandeep Arora. "All 50,000 Seed devices sold to date are easily upgradeable to Seed Cashless, enabling vending operators with existing Seed installations to add cashless with only modest additional cost.
"Cashless is not just a nice-to-have add on," Arora emphasized. "It is the wave of the future, and will soon become an absolute requirement to ensure vending profitability. Consumers today demand speed and convenience and operators want pricing and product flexibility, all of which Seed Cashless provides."
Cantaloupe's Seed Cashless will operate through its PCI-compliant Core Gateway to a processor. Current processing partners include First Data and Heartland Payment Systems.
Heartland chairman and chief executive Bob Carr commented: "We're excited to continue our relationship with Cantaloupe as they roll out innovative products to the millions of vending machines across America. Efficient and secure payments processing is an integral component of Seed Cashless, making it a perfect complement to Heartland's state-of the art, real-time card-processing solutions."
The Seed Cashless beta program is under way, with commercial launch slated for the third quarter of 2010. Operators interested in participating in the beta program can obtain additional information by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling Cantaloupe directly at (415) 525-8100.
Cantaloupe Systems was founded in 2002 by young engineers Mandeep Arora, a second-generation vending professional, and Anant Agrawal. Installed in individual vending machines, the Cantaloupe Seed device monitors all transactions and transmits that data securely through cellular networks and the Internet Cloud. The company reports that operators using Seed average $35,000 in annual savings per route, can replenish 80% more machines a week and can reduce their carbon footprints by 40% by eliminating unnecessary truck travel and carrying smaller loads.