In recent years, consumer preferences towards unattended payments have changed dramatically. In addition, the rapid growth of cashless payments has necessitated a different approach to self-serve and vending payment systems. Discover the many advantages your businesses can obtain by leveraging advanced contactless point-of-sale technology for use in all types of unattended and self-serve payment processing applications.
Many existing vending and self-serve payment stations still rely on antiquated mechanical touchpads, cash slots, and magnetic stripe card readers. While the equipment itself may still be functional, the reality is that these older unattended payment terminals are imposing limits on your business that hinder sales, new customer acquisition, and profitability. To gain competitive advantage and attract more customers to self-serve kiosks and unattended vending systems, businesses need to provide a fast, secure, and convenient payment experience. Doing this requires investment in the right types of payment processing technology designed to accommodate changing customer preferences and keep your business prepared for the future.
It may not be immediately apparent how the limitations of older unattended payment technology could be impacting your business. Often these effects build over time as trends in the marketplace evolve, and might even be disregarded if not examined more closely to identify the true underlying causes. Let’s explore some of the recent developments that have shaken up the world of unattended payment processing, and how aging POS technology might be the reason why these trends are affecting your business negatively instead of positively.
Limitations of Mechanical Touchpads and Cash-Only Unattended Payment Systems
Perhaps the biggest factor influencing businesses in their choice of payment processing systems is the rapid adoption of cashless payment methods by consumers for transactions of all types. Every day, fewer and fewer people are carrying cash. It doesn’t matter anymore if the purchase price is one dollar or one thousand dollars, consumers all over the world are preferring cashless payments over physical cash at an increasing rate. The reasons for this are numerous.
For one, making a payment with a debit card, credit card, or digital wallet is faster than counting and handling physical cash and coins. Time is a precious commodity for businesses and consumers alike, so this is a critical element of the payment process that companies must consider when implementing unattended and self-serve options. Modern POS systems with tap-to-pay technology have condensed the payment process into a single step, allowing customers to complete their purchase in the blink of an eye.
Furthermore, flexibility in payment methods is also a major concern for customers when choosing where to spend their money. With more people relying on cashless payments, the need to accept an increasingly diverse array of payment types is essential. It’s not just a matter of credit cards and debit cards, but also digital wallets like Apple Pay and Google Pay. In fact, digital wallet apps have shifted the cashless trend even further by allowing people to leave physical payment cards at home and contain all their preferred payment options within a single smartphone app. A self-serve station or unattended vending machine that won’t accept cashless tap-to-pay payments means that those customers can’t buy from you even if they wanted to. This kind of restriction costs your business customers, and that’s simply not sustainable over the long run.
Customization of the payment interface is another significant limitation of older POS terminals. There are many instances where unattended self-serve systems are used to deliver products and services that are unique to that particular business. This means that standard off-the-shelf payment terminals may not provide an effective solution. Customizable touch screen POS terminals can be configured specifically for the needs of that particular business application. Displays can be designed to provide a seamless brand experience, and various pricing and configuration options can be set to make it easy for customers to navigate the system. For service-based businesses like unattended car washes, self-serve laundromats, and electrical vehicle charging stations, this level of flexibility opens up plenty of opportunities to add value to customers at the point of sale.
While these different factors are all excellent reasons to make the switch to modern contactless POS terminals for your unattended vending and self-serve payment stations, you may be wondering if your existing systems can be upgraded, or if an entirely new solution is necessary. The answer depends on several aspects, but for most businesses upgrading existing unattended systems with new POS terminals is an effective and economical way to take advantage of contactless payment trends.
Upgrading Existing Vending and Self-Serve Systems to Contactless POS Terminals
When looking to upgrade an existing unattended payment system to use a modern contactless POS terminal, there are a few essential technical elements that determine whether or not it will be possible. In many cases, the deciding factor will be whether or not the unattended payment system utilizes a type of internal computer control board that includes multi-drop bus (MDB) compatibility. This technical term refers to the ability of the main control board to connect to and integrate with external devices, such as a new POS terminal. This technology is fairly common, and is present in most, if not all, vending machines and self-serve payment stations manufactured since about 2015.
In the event that your existing unattended systems do not have MDB-compatible control boards, these can usually be replaced with new control boards to enable the desired functionality. In some very old self-serve systems, this may not be the case and it would necessitate a more comprehensive upgrade. To learn more about determining the possibility of unattended payment processing upgrades, we recommend you refer to our article on upgrading vending machines with new POS terminals.
For those systems that can be retrofitted, the process is fairly simple and straightforward. A POS service technician can handle most of these types of upgrades in a matter of just a few hours, getting your retrofitted self-serve systems up and running quickly. Implementations across multiple different systems and locations will naturally take more time to complete simply due to the larger scale of the project, but the upgrade process is essentially the same.
However, what must be decided before any of this can occur is which merchant services provider you will partner with to implement such an important upgrade for your business. Selecting a payment processor that offers the right mix of advanced contactless POS technology and top-tier customer service and support will be a major factor in your success. With MONEXgroup as your partner, your business will receive all this and more.