WINTER PARK, FL -- Beta testing is underway for a new cashless payment system that allows customers to make vending purchases with their smartphones over a Bluetooth connection.
The VUWI (Virtually Unlimited Wireless Interface) service will store subscribers' credit card information on a secure server and download a free application program to their smartphones. With this app installed, the VUWI subscriber can use the phone's Bluetooth secure short-range communication to make purchases at any VUWI-equipped terminal.
The VUWI Bluetooth terminal installed in the vender can translate payment data for a wide variety of older machines, as well as new ones. The hardware investment is modest, and the merchant fees "surprisingly low," said Jim Dillingham, who is managing vending sales for the new service.
VUWI, an extension of the Coin Free payment system, was developed to take advantage of the powerful hardware that today's consumers carry on their persons. The vending machine need not be connected to a wireless network, since the customer already has established a network connection with a secure website. The local Bluetooth data exchange simply identifies the purchaser to the machine and enables the vend; the VUWI service handles the rest of the transaction.
Dillingham reported that the new payment service will be exhibited at the National Automatic Merchandising Association's upcoming OneShow in Las Vegas.
Information may be requested from him by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling (603) 774-2222. Coin Free is online at coinfree.com and can be reached by phone at (407) 657-5971. A demonstration of the VUWI can be seen at uwivantagepoint.com.