SCOTTSDALE, AZ -- Apriva is paving the way for more growth in the vending channel by broadening its distribution network and pitching large institutions to deploy cashless payment solutions.
The Scottsdale, AZ, end-to-end wireless transactions provider recently authorized many of its 500-plus traditional reseller partners to sell Apriva Vend, an integrated, end-to-end cashless service. Until now, these distributors have only sold Apriva's wireless payment technologies to brick-and-mortar establishments and mobile merchants.
"Many of these same distribution partners have recognized that the vending sector has dynamics similar to what they've encountered in our traditional markets," said Stacey Finley Tappin, Apriva's vice-president of sales and marketing. "They see vending operators as businesses that are tired of operating in low-margin, low-profit environments, and would be receptive to technology that allows them to grow their customer base, expand margins, enhance customer service and lower operating costs."
Another key strategy that Apriva is employing to spark sales is to bring Apriva Vend to institutional sites such as universities, hospitals, large businesses and government facilities. While most of these organizations have established vending programs, Apriva believes many of them are ripe for cashless vending. Apriva will work directly with the institutions and with the operators that serve them to encourage and help implement Apriva Vend adoption.
"We've spoken with several large customers who have expressed the opinion that most providers deliver vending services today as a 'shotgun' approach that does not always align the experience with customer propensities," said Tappin. "As a result, if a consumer does not have cash readily available, he'll find another option, such as go to a store, to make purchases."
Tappin emphasized that successful vending is about making the experience satisfying, comfortable and convenient and allowing consumers to pay in the method most convenient to them is a key component.
Apriva entered the vending market in late 2009. It partnered with MEI as its payment acceptance hardware provider to deliver AprivaVend, which launched in April 2010. The service includes hardware, payment processing software, network connectivity and back-office reporting tools.
"Apriva's relationship with MEI has been an intrinsic part of our success," said Tappin. "While our company is certainly recognized in the traditional merchant acquiring and processing sector, we understood that the dynamics and expectations that exist within the vending community were markedly different from our traditional business. The partnership with MEI certainly helped position Apriva as a reputable, reliable and secure provider of cashless payment solutions."
She added that Apriva has several joint sales and marketing programs with MEI that have been instrumental in introducing Apriva Vend to bottlers, full-line vending operators and potential industry partners.
Apriva Vend sales have accelerated in recent months, with activations climbing approximately 24% in the third quarter of 2011. | SEE STORY
And Tappin says the company is now better positioned to drive more growth. "Apriva's technology and partnerships have given us a solid foundation, but frankly we expect more," she concluded. "Broadening our distribution network, targeting the institutional and enterprise sectors, and continuing to deliver solutions that offer tangible business benefits are solid steps that should enable Apriva to build on its early success."