Keep An Eye on These Fast-Changing Vending Payment Trends

by Scott Paape
Posted On: 10/28/2019

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The history of any civilization can be tracked through its currency. There's the value and composition of currency. There are the economic trends, like booms and recessions. You could even track how its citizens spend money over time.

This is an interesting point in our history. We’ve come a long way from mere dollars and cents. According to data compiled by the Federal Reserve, cash withdrawals have been steadily declining in recent years.

And businesses scramble to keep up with these fast-changing payment trends.

More and more people opt to use credit cards or remote payments to pay for their purchases. That's not a tough leap for store-front businesses to make. Accepting non-cash payment is almost a given for them. But savvy vending operators should also take notice of the changing times.

Vending machines have historically relied on cash-carrying customers. There's significant evidence that including other payment options would be beneficial and profitable. Options like credit cards, debit cards, Apple Pay and Google Pay.

Keep reading to find out how changing payment trends can benefit your vending business.

Expand Your Customer-Base

Every business owner does their research when going into business. Vending operators are no different. You determined where to place your machines, what products to sell, and who you would sell to.

You probably have a good sense of who your customer base is. If you operate traditional vending machines, there's a good chance most of your customer base carries cash.

But here’s what you may not know. A recent U.S. Bank survey of their customers found that 50% of respondents reportedly carried cash less than half the time.

Would you like to double your number of potential customers? One way to do it is to add additional payment options.

Clear the Way for High-Value Merchandise

Cash-only vending is all about limits. It limits what you can offer, and therefore what your customers can buy. It limits what you can charge and, as a result, what kind of revenue you can bring in.

Maybe it's time to expand your payment options to include credit card and app-based payments. Options like Apple Pay and Google Pay are worth considering.

Without these limitations, you can write a whole new business plan if you want. The sky's the limit when it comes to what you can offer your customers. Consider offering small electronics, smartphone accessories, or even high-end makeup.

The right merchandise at the right price point can add up to big jumps in revenue. Don’t limit your options.

Increase Your Revenue

A recent study of 250,000 vending machines fitted with cashless readers found the technology boosted sales for all machines by an average of 78%. Most impressive, though, was that sales in low-performing machines were boosted by 118%.

"When anybody is using a card, they will always spend more," said Jim Turner, senior data analyst at USA Technologies. He noted that it’s easier to purchase more than one item when a customer uses a credit card than when a customer uses cash.

In fact, the study found there is a 37% increase in spending when customers use credit cards compared to cash.

"It's over a billion-dollar opportunity for the industry," said Turner, referring to vending machines that do not yet accept cashless payments. "It makes sense to do on every machine that you can."

Sharpen Your Competitive Edge

You know your competition, just like you know your customer base. The simple fact is this. If you don’t accept cashless payments someone else will.

Do you really want them to reap the benefits we have already discussed above?

When it comes to technology, if you’re the last to get on board with the trend you’re already late to the next trend. Stay up-to-date and be a leader in your industry. These technological advancements really can give you a competitive edge.

If you’re not sure where to start, reach out to a payment processor today. See which options would make the most sense for your vending business.

Final Thoughts

Technology is an ever-changing, growing industry, and its impact is far-reaching. For someone in the business, it can be intimidating to try to keep up with the trends.

Changing how you accept payment is a big shift. While that can be intimidating, it can also be rewarding. We encourage you to look more closely at the payment options you currently offer.

After all, if you’re missing a popular payment option, you’re almost certainly leaving money on the table.

SCOTT PAAPE is senior vice-president of sales and operations for Talus. Never losing sight of the Customer has always been front and center leading back to Scott’s early days putting himself through college as a Charter Boat Captain on Lake Michigan. The fish may not always bite but his clients were guaranteed a trip full of memories! With a corporate career began as a 3rd shift supervisor in manufacturing for Frito Lay all the way to broad "Total Company" HQ roles, Scott has a great appreciation for what it takes to Influence others and keep a company healthy."