The pandemic has caused distress for many convenience services operators working to navigate the challenges posed by workplace closures and service disruptions.
So Florida operator Manuel Barrios of CVM Services Inc. decided to take advantage of opportunities during this time and upgrade specific accounts with Vagabond’s state-of-the-art vīv touchless payment platform. Barrios chose to deploy vīv on every vending machine he manages at Bethune-Cookman University in Daytona Beach, making it the first university in the U.S. with completely touchless vending purchases.
“I have worked with the Vagabond team for several years and have deployed their vīv Markets and vīv Vending touchless solutions in several other accounts, so I was already familiar with the technology’s capabilities and the positive experiences consumers at these accounts have when purchasing using vīv,” Barrios said.
“It made a lot of sense to approach Bethune-Cookman University during the pandemic and suggest we install touchless technologies on their machines that we operate to also help deter the spread of COVID," he continued. "They loved the idea, and executing it has helped me grow the account.”
Benefits now available to B-CU students and staff include remote visibility of products in the machines, remote access to nutritional information, a touchless and safe purchase experience, and access to product discounts through vīv, including the first purchase free program.
Barrios replaced existing card readers and telemetry devices with Vagabond vīv Insight devices and removed bill validators and coin mechanisms to make the machines completely touchless. According to Vagabond, this reduces the cost of managing cash and also provides Barrios the ability to engage directly with his consumers with marketing campaigns.
Doing so results in more frequent consumption -- vīv users make around nine purchases a month, approximately 80% more often than those who choose swipe cashless, according to an internal study by Vagabond comparing frequency of purchases by consumers at traditional swipe credit card readers versus vīv touchless-enabled machines.
Though the installation of the touchless technology occurred toward the end of the school year and many students weren’t on campus because of the pandemic, several hundred new vending customers signed up during the final four weeks of the semester. Barrios took advantage of Vagabond’s first vīv purchase free program to incentivize the B-CU community to download vīv.
“I’m very happy with the success we had with converting all the snack machines to touchless,” Barrios said. “It all happened at the end of the school year so I’m excited to see the response from new and returning students and staff in the coming semesters based on their positive feedback to our touchless machines.”