Cashless invades our lives

Sept. 27, 2012

This week a man wrote in to the magazine thanking us. I'd like to tell you it was a vending operator complimenting our hard hitting journalism or even a manufacturer happy we ran a product release. But instead, it was a man thanking us for accepting Mastercard at the tire air pump at a Massachusetts gas station.

Automatic Merchandiser/VendingMarketWatch has been mistaken for lots of things over the years, but never a gas station.

As I was reading his email I couldn't help but think not five years ago, I used one of these machines and HAD to pay with quarters. It didn't even accept bills. I find myself wondering if things have changed in my local stations too.

Customer loves cashless option

This customer, we'll call him Bob, "loved" what he called "the Mastercard/Visa interface" on the machine. His only gripe was that on his statement, the transaction was labeled fast food. It had taken him some time to remember about using the air pump and that is cost him a single dollar. He suggested changing the label to better indicate the product or service.

Bottom line, cashless payment options are available to consumers in more and more places, even for microtransactions. Don't underestimate how much they mean to users. It drove our man Bob (who claims to be 62 in his email) online so he could email me about it.