As demand for cashless payment grows, operators have multiple hardware and software options

Oct. 30, 2023
Many cashless payment systems are available to operators, and this list looks at several providers, focusing on how their solutions can provide operators with a competitive advantage.

Many cashless payment systems are available to operators, and this list looks at several providers, focusing on how their solutions can provide operators with a competitive advantage.

Evan Jarecki, co-founder and CEO of Gimme, a leading provider of VMS software and DEX hardware, works with every major cashless hardware provider. Jarecki said that the continued advancement of cashless payment systems is important to the vending and micro market industry. “For consumers, speed is key,” he said. “The faster they can pay using whichever method is convenient to them – mobile, tap, card, cash – the better their customer experience.”

Payment engagement strategies

According to Bill Bartholic, vice president of enterprise sales, Cantaloupe offers a payment, engagement and optimization strategy for operators. “Credit and debit card readers that go on self-service machines and vending machines are our number-one piece, but we are growing all the time and bringing ideas to the industry,” said Bartholic, who noted that Cantaloupe products are in about 1.15 million endpoints throughout North America, Europe and Latin America.

Bartholic added that from an engagement standpoint, Cantaloupe’s systems can be set up to reward consumers and build lasting loyalty with tailored advertising and the MORE Loyalty program. “From an operations standpoint, Bartholic said that once the devices get deployed, “We actually then can use that data to deploy our software solutions to allow the operator to really scale their business up, and we have the teams behind us that allows it to happen.”

EMV compatibility

Lisa Appelson, marketing manager, North America, pointed to the Nayax VPOS Touch card reader as the centerpiece of its cashless payment systems program. “It is an EMV (smart debit and credit cards)-compatible device that is seamlessly integrated with telemetry, cashless clearance, monitoring, management and business intelligence (BI), allowing machines to be monitored in real time with updated information on all aspects of operation including inventory, cash monitoring, alerts and reports,” said Appelson.

“While EMV has been a buzzword for years, there are still many machines integrated with devices that don’t accept EMV tap transactions,” Appelson explained. “These operators are losing 10-15% of potential revenue. And with swipe transactions slowly being phased out, an example being Apple cards being printed without the magnetic strips, EMV compatibility is critical to ensure that operators are not losing money. Nayax has been at the forefront of this technology for nearly a decade, ensuring that Nayax operators are fully EMV compatible, with the ability to accept all payment transactions.”

Comprehensive ways to pay

David Riddiford, president of Apriva, said his company’s comprehensive payment solutions enable businesses to accept any way their customers want to pay, anywhere their business takes them.

“Our secure payment gateway processes a variety of cashless payments including credit and debit, mobile wallets, closed-loop payments such as campus, military and employee ID cards, and enables the acceptance of cutting-edge payment methods such as biometrics and QR code scans,” said Riddiford.

Apriva works with self-service and vending operators in the U.S, Canada and Mexico.

“We recognize that every business is unique and deserves more than a one-size-fits-all solution,” Riddiford said. “That means we are free to seek out the best technology, provide you the best cashless solution for your business and help you get the best processing rates possible.”

Cashless payment terminals

Alan Munson, VP of business development, 365 Retail Markets, said the company’s 365 cashless payment platform are customer-focused payment terminals that allow for cashless transactions with vending, micro market, dining and smart cooler points of sale. “These payment terminals feature interactive touchscreens, global wallets for a connected campus, and the ability to run on-screen promotions. Operators have to make sure they get every sale. Our cashless solution allows for a quick and appealing experience for the end customer when they are using a physical card, a refund code or their micro market account,” added Munson, who noted that 365 Markets currently has hundreds of thousands of cashless terminals in all 50 states, transacting billions of dollars per year.

“We see our customers gaining a competitive advantage because they can offer their customers the ability to pay how they want through any of our points of sale. One of the many ways this is accomplished is by utilizing a connected campus. Our customers really take advantage of this when the location has multiple points of sale,” he added.

Pay by mobile app

“PayRange is mobile first, but we also offer a full line of credit card readers and payment kiosks,” said Matt Birchard of PayRange, who added that PayRange works with thousands of operators and serves millions of users. “Our primary product is mobile payment, and that's achieved through our BlueKey, which is a small, low-cost hardware device. Once that device is in the machine, users make payment using the PayRange mobile app, which connects to the machine via Bluetooth, and the mobile app allows users to add funds to their PayRange account using a variety of methods like credit and debit cards,” said Birchard.

“In vending, it plugs and plays basically on MDB. There's no need for cellular or internet connection or expensive hardware, and this allows operators to reduce or avoid ongoing monthly connection fees,” he added.

Targeted solutions

Some cashless payment systems are primarily geared toward a specific market, but the following providers are an ideal solution in many cases.

GrabScanGo serves offices and other locations, but it has also enjoyed a great deal of success in hotel micro market locations. “We provide pay terminals and a mobile app for self-checkout markets that support tap, dip and swipe of debit/credit cards, as well as Apple Pay and Google Pay from smartphones,” said Wilf Martis, company co-founder.

Ashley Hubler, chief marketing officer of The Wittern Group, points out that its Greenlite cashless payment solution is a perfect fit for small- and medium-sized operators who are seeking an entry-level payment solution option and for operators who purchase equipment through its machine manufacturing division, USI.

“For the past decade, we have partnered with several of the industry's leading cashless payment solution providers, Cantaloupe and most recently 365 Retail Markets, to bring to market our proprietary cashless payment solution – Greenlight cashless – which allows our customers to access a wide range of modern payment options,” said Hubler.

Microtronic Cashless Solutions’ president Terri Starnes-Bryant has found success serving operators who need solutions specifically for the corrections industry. Because correctional facilities discourage cash and coin being brought in, Microtronic’s card dispensers allow customers to purchase a loaded card and scan it on the vending machine card readers. “This is also a great solution for workplaces that want to easily provide incentives and gifts for their employees,” she said.

Questions to ask

Gimme’s Jarecki said that operators have a lot to consider when choosing a cashless payment provider. “For operators, accountability and efficiency are key,” he said. “New cashless systems allow merchandisers to collect more reliable cash, cashless and inventory data with built-in bluetooth DEX capabilities. Plus, devices upgrading to 5G connections allow for more consistent remote DEX for improved forecasting – leading to better picks and labor savings through schedule adjustments.”

Jarecki continued, “If I were an operator, the biggest value to me is high-speed connections and reliable uptime. I’d seek 5G LTE connections and ask for uptime/downtime percentages. Since re-installing new hardware on hundreds or thousands of points-of-sale is super time-consuming, I’d ask if they have any programs to help with mass installations to save my team’s time and stay lean.”



Bob Tullio is a content specialist, speaker, sales trainer, consultant and contributing editor of Automatic Merchandiser/ He advises entrepreneurs on how to build a successful business from the ground up and specializes in helping suppliers connect with operators in the convenience services industry – coffee service, vending, micro markets and pantry service specifically.

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