Cantaloupe Systems, the leading vending optimization platform provider, is joining with First Data Corp., a global leader in electronic commerce and payment processing, to implement near-field communication (NFC) reader technology in thousands of U.S. vending machines. Using Google Wallet, a mobile payment application that uses NFC technology, customers will be able to make purchases by tapping their phones at vending machines installed with the Cantaloupe Systems.
Google Wallet is compatible with the MasterCard PayPass® contactless system, already available in thousands of retail stores, and will expand to accommodate other NFC payment systems as they come to market.
“Our goal as a company is to bring leading-edge retail technology to the vending industry, and you can’t get more leading-edge than Google Wallet, which will allow consumers to buy everything from electronics to snacks using their smartphones,” said Anant Agrawal, co-founder and CMO of Cantaloupe Systems in a prepared statement. “We’re here to help our customers deliver wider choice and better service to their customers. Adding this cashless mobile payment option – and its potential extensions into improved merchandising – is a great step toward accomplishing that.”
The NFC-enabled vending machines are owned and operated by Cantaloupe Systems’ customers, including CC Vending, which serves the tri-state area surrounding New York City; Black Tie Services and Midlantic Vending, which serve the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area; and Mark Vend, which serves the Chicago metropolitan area. In addition to the NFC enablement, all these machines are equipped with Cantaloupe Systems’ Seed technology, which monitors, reports, and analyzes real-time sales data over the Web.
“The applications for NFC payments are vast and by expanding the user experience to the vending market, we are providing customers with a fun and engaging way to purchase goods at vending machines and even get offers and coupons,” said Dom Morea, senior vice president and division manager, Advanced Solutions and Innovation, First Data. “This partnership is another step in the payments evolution that First Data is driving across our solutions integrating mobile payments into consumers’ everyday lives; making payments interactive, fast and convenient.”
“The merchandising value here goes beyond customer convenience to building customer loyalty and frequency of purchase in the mobile age,” said Mike Cascione, president of CC Vending. “With mobile payment solutions like Google Wallet augmenting the customer information we’re already receiving from Cantaloupe Systems’ wireless Seed technology, we’ll be able to offer custom-tailored promotions keyed to individual product preferences.”