- Smart vending machine systems are capable of conveniently delivering a diverse array of products
- Dispensing solutions can be customized to unique specifications with conveyors, elevators, and more
- Advanced digital payment processing systems make these machines simple and efficient for customers
Recent innovations in vending technology have resulted in ‘smart’ vending machines that have opened the door for many non-traditional businesses to start offering their products to customers using convenient unattended kiosks in remote locations 24/7/365. However, making these systems user-friendly and efficient for customers depends on the intuitiveness of the digital payment processing solution that is integrated into the machine.
Ask any group of people what items they can get from a vending machine, and it will come as no surprise that many of the responses will be similar: beverages and snacks, batteries, snacks, tissues, etc. However, the range of products that can be obtained through a vending machine go beyond the items listed above. Now, people can get virtually anything from an unattended vending system, from high-end consumer electronics to live crabs – all available in an instant. This kind of flexibility in self-serve purchasing has been enabled by ‘smart’ vending technology and powerful digital payment processing solutions.
What is a Smart Vending Machine?
Traditional vending machines are rather simple in how they work and what they can do. Their delivery systems are designed to accommodate goods that fit within a certain set of dimensions, with more or less similar properties. Some examples include small bags of potato chips, candy bars, packs of gum, or cans of soda. All of these things follow a fairly standard format, with one manufacturer’s can of soda coming in the same size and shape of packaging as other manufacturers, for example. This standardization makes it easy to develop a system that can be stocked with a selection of similar products, offering a small range of choice within that particular product category. In general, standard vending machines are limited in the variety of products that can be sold through them.
Smart vending machines are next-generation systems that are far more flexible in the types of products that can be accommodated. Rows and columns inside the machine can be adjusted or reconfigured for larger or smaller products, allowing a single machine to be used in many different applications based on the needs of the business. For example, the machine could be temporarily configured to provide food and beverage products in one area, and then relocated to offer self-service vending of hard goods and sundries in another.
In addition to the flexible internal capacity of a smart vending machine, the delivery systems that are needed to move products from their storage location into the hands of the customer can be far more complex. Automation can come in the form of conveyors, elevators, hooks, and racks, or any combination of these to safely and efficiently deliver the purchased product to the customer.
Another aspect of these machines that contributes to their ‘smart’ moniker is the connectivity they can be equipped with for the machine owners to remotely connect to them. This allows the owner of the machine to access reports and sales data, obtain stock level notifications, as well as update pricing and configuration settings without ever having to physically interact with the machine. For businesses that operate a large number of unattended vending machines, or for those with machines in distant locations, this aspect is particularly beneficial.
Of course, all the advantages that smart vending machines boast are contingent on one key component; a capable and flexible payment processing control system. You see, the simple coin-based payment systems of traditional vending machines simply do not have the ability to do anything beyond a “one-price, one-item” transaction. In order to process the more complex orders that are made possible by a smart vending machine, as well as facilitate remote connectivity functions, there is a need for a digital payment processing system that’s up to the task. That’s where advanced unattended payment solutions from MONEXgroup come into play.
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Unattended Payment Processing Systems for Smart Vending Machines
Smart vending machines need payment processing systems that are even smarter, and can provide the enhanced functionality needed to complete transactions for customers. For starters, the types of payment methods that must be able to be accepted go far beyond just cash and coins. In fact, with fewer people around the world using physical currency to pay for goods and services, the demand for cashless payments has rapidly grown over the last few years.
For smart vending machines, MONEXgroup unattended payment terminals are able to accept all types of payment methods, including cash, as well as all types of credit card and debit card payments, contactless tap-to-pay cards, NFC digital wallet apps on smartphones, gift cards, and more. In addition, these terminals are equipped with a digital LCD screen that can be configured with a customized interface to meet the exact specifications needed. This can include such things as customized appearance and integrated branding on the digital screens, as well as various pricing selections and other product modifiers.
Other advantages of MONEXgroup contactless payment terminals for smart vending machines include robust reporting capabilities to analyze the performance of each vending machine in terms of product sales, time-of-day, average purchase value, and stock levels, along with many other valuable metrics. They can also be enabled with remote management capabilities so machine owners can adjust pricing, view machine performance data, and perform other functions, regardless of physical location. Furthermore, these types of payment processing solutions help businesses who rely on unattended smart vending machines to prepare for the future evolution of payment methods, as the software and hardware can easily be upgraded down the road to accommodate the latest innovations in smart vending technology.
Security is another major concern to address when talking about any type of payment processing system. Data theft and privacy protection are a top priority for any business, so you want to be sure that any payment solutions you invest in are equipped with leading-edge security measures to prevent hackers, transaction fraud, and other malicious attacks. All MONEXgroup unattended payment terminals are fully compliant with all PCI Security Standards Council regulations and feature top-tier encryption technology to protect all transactions against fraud and data theft.
Durability is also an important aspect of unattended payment terminals, as many vending machines are located in outdoor environments with climate conditions that can often be less than favourable. Therefore, vending payment processing systems must be engineered to withstand harsh environmental conditions including temperatures that range from scorching hot to sub-zero, as well as heavy rains, snow, and ice. MONEXgroup unattended terminals can be fully weatherproofed to defy the most adverse weather conditions, and still function perfectly so your smart vending machines are reliable and dependable.
The applications of these types of payment terminals don’t end at smart vending machines, however. MONEXgroup leads the way in unattended payment technology with a comprehensive line of payment processing terminals and tap-to-pay systems that are designed to suit a wide variety of businesses, such as vending machines, unattended sales kiosks, charity donation stations, laundry payment systems, outdoor car washes, vehicle charging stations, parking lot payment terminals, and many more.
Smart Vending Machine Payment Systems Backed by Expert Customer Service and Support
To truly make the most of your smart vending machine and unattended payment processing system, you need to ensure that your business is supported by partners that you can trust. Your merchant services provider needs to bring the right combination of technology, expertise, and support to your business so that your vending machine investment results in the maximum positive impact to your bottom line. With MONEXgroup on your side, you’ll be able to leverage the expertise of our team of payment processing customer service representatives who will help customize your solution to provide the best customer experience. Our 24/7/365 technical support crew will always be there for you when you need them, with the knowledge and experience needed to answer any question you may have.
If you’re ready to learn more about the potential benefits that a smart vending system can have on your business, contact the team here at MONEXgroup today. We’ll be happy to speak with you and arrange for a detailed evaluation of your business needs, and provide a comprehensive quote on an unattended vending payment solution that will work for you.
Contact us now to find out more about MONEXgroup unattended vending payment systems and get a free quote!
Author: Layal Scheirich, Head of Sales at MONEXgroup
Bio: With 18 years of experience in payment processing and merchant services, Layal has seen in-store POS technology evolve from its humble beginnings to contactless, unattended, mobile and online alternatives. Today, Layal is an inspiration to the MONEXgroup’s team and a go-to source of information related to payment processing. She is enthusiastic to share her knowledge with audiences interested in cutting-edge technologies available today, such as unattended payment for self-serve kiosks, e-commerce online payment gateways, virtual terminals, and contactless and mobile payment solutions.
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