USConnect recently announced that its network of vending and foodservice operators has expanded and now includes 21 companies. The company has grown since launching in April 2013 with 14 members.
The geographically exclusive organization is in discussions with several other leading vend operators, according to the company. When fully deployed, the current group will have about 35,000 connected points of sale including vending machines, micro markets and dining facilities, accepting integrated cashless payments via credit/debit cards and the proprietary, hosted balances USConnect Card. The network is being built to also universally accept smartphone payments, a key initiative as the smartphone payment industry matures over the next few years.
Jeff Whitacre, CEO, expects the group to expand rapidly to cover all major U.S. markets reaching much more than 100,000 connections within the first two years. "Vending and food service operators need the feeling of belonging to an organization that has their best interest at heart. The independent operators need to band together for survival, and as a bonus, this organization is also about improved profitability and business growth," said Whitacre in a prepared statement.