Cantaloupe Inc. celebrates 30 years of technology innovation in unattended retail

Jan. 21, 2022

Cantaloupe Inc., originally USA Technologies, a pioneer in cashless vending, is celebrating 30 years of innovation, collaboration with leading technology partners and research insights into the future of autonomous retail.

"It was a great pleasure to have been the company’s founder, chairman, and chief executive for almost 20 years. With a great group of talented employees, the company became an early leader in cashless wireless technology and associated financial network services with over 70 patents issued during my tenure,” said USA Technologies founder George R. Jensen Jr.

Cantaloupe's chief Sean Feeney added, “Thirty years ago, we changed the face of unattended retail by offering vending machine operators the first cashless card readers, ushering in the era of self-service vending. Innovation continues to be the foundation of Cantaloupe.

"From connecting mobile wallets with next-generation loyalty programs, including crypto payment acceptance, to touchscreen points-of-sale, and integration of machine learning," Feeney continued, "we continue to optimize and streamline operations for our customers in the global marketplace.

Malvern, PA-based Cantaloupe, which rebranded from USA Technologies in 2021, has continued to grow its connections, client base, and revenue. The company reported more than 1.1 million active points of sale connected to its platform at the end of the fiscal first quarter of 2022 (reported in November 2021), and nearly 21,000 customers during the same period. This represents 17% growth over the previous year. The company delivered revenues in the first quarter of $45.8 million, an increase of 24.1% for the comparable period year over year. 

Among its many milestones in 2021, Cantaloupe enhanced its Seed platform with Hivery Enhance, providing customers with intelligent solutions driven by leveraging artificial intelligence and advanced analytical methods. Powerful new product recommendations and targeted space-to-sales optimization tap Hivery’s proprietary algorithms to boost Cantaloupe operators’ top-line revenue and improve operational efficiencies. This will empower operators to react to the way consumers shop and drive increased sales.

Through a partnership with digital asset platform Bakkt, Cantaloupe announced it will allow cryptocurrency to be converted into cash for payments, in addition to its existing payment forms of cash, debit and credit card, or mobile wallet across its nationwide network. With the ubiquity of cryptocurrency as a fundamental aspect to unlocking new customer experiences, the partnership with Bakkt will enable Cantaloupe to offer consumers the ability to pay using the digital assets they hold within the Bakkt app, starting with bitcoin and participating loyalty points on more than a million devices. 

Additionally, integration with Apple mobile wallets brought greater convenience to thousands of students by allowing them to add their stored-value campus card to their mobile wallet. This integration enables students to make payments more conveniently.

Cantaloupe’s acquisition of Yoke Payments, an innovative self-checkout payment solution, enables a simple and easy integration that provides micro market operators new revenue and optimization opportunities. 

Through Cantaloupe’s new ePort Engage series, customers can access new touchscreen payment devices that optimize consumer engagement through advertising and loyalty programs.

Cantaloupe also announced a partnership with Castles Technology, which will bring new and existing enterprise and small and medium-sized customers the most state-of-the-art payment terminals certified by PCI-PTS and EMV for vending, kiosks, amusement and EV charging stations, and better connect with consumers by leveraging digital displays. 

On the market research front in 2021 Cantaloupe completed two studies. In partnership with Michigan State University, Cantaloupe unveiled a study of its proprietary data that showed digital payments are the preferred payment method at vending machines. This is fueled by the growing acceptance of contactless payments.

In a separate study with CITE Research of more than 2,000 U.S. adults, Cantaloupe showed that younger consumers drove growth in autonomous retail during the last year. The majority of respondents cited speed and convenience as their reasons for increased usage.

“Autonomous retail has never been more important,” said Cantaloupe chief technology officer Ravi Venkatesan. “As a first mover in this industry, we bring decades of experience and knowledge to the market. We are at the intersection of four macro trends: autonomous technology innovation, IoT-powered transformation, integrated digital payments."


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