How Technology Will Change Vending, Part 3

In this third and final segment of the V-Engineering: The next generation panel and educational session featured at the 2013 NAMA OneShow, Mike Lawlor from USA Technologies, goes into detail about how technology can positively affect an operators’ bottom line.

Cashless, Technology Grows Sales

Mike Lawlor from USA Technologies reported on a recent analysis of cashless payment systems installation for a period of 12 months on a broad national sample of machines. The data showed vending transactions increased 23 percent.

"Unequivocally, cashless is bringing more consumers to your machines," said Lawlor. The research also showed an increase in the number of cash transactions over 12 months, Lawlor says, and consumers spend more at a machine with cashless bringing monthly sales up 28 percent.

Even with the costs associated with cashless, Lawlor reports that cashless drives more than $700 in new incremental sales. He cited a specific example, Rawls Distributing Co. in Savannah, Ga. The 14-route operation added vending management software, pre-kitting and cashless with two-tier pricing. It now operates 9 routes, but with 12 percent growth organically, and is showing an 83.3 percent lift in sales. Plus, the service vehicles are smaller adding additional fuel savings, according to Lawlor.

One of the first questions from the audience was about two tier pricing - how it worked and what was the standard charge. Lawlor explained that operators did it differently, but generally, the price posted was for credit/debit and it was noted that cash was a discounted price. "It allows you to cover operating costs," said Lawlor. "It's had no negative impact on cashless sales."

Cantaloupe's Mandeep Arora added that he's seen two-tier pricing anywhere from ten cents up to 25 cents. He indicated that a label on the machine usually indicated the amount of the cash discount For example: "There is a 15 cent cash discount" or "All items are 25 cents off with cash."

Another attendee asked that if the price point at the machine was high enough, should he eliminate bill acceptors and go completely cashless. Lawlor didn't recommend that. Unless there was a high level of vandalism, he didn't think operators should eliminate the option to take cash.

Overall, the V-engineering session showed operators that they need to ensure their technology is compliant with future trends such data speeds and new credit card security. In addition, they should consider how best to use innovation to drive revenue whether that's creating efficient businesses, engaging customers or targeting advertising and products based on customer analysis. Operators are embracing these ideas and learning more about how to bring vending to the future.