- COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically increased the demand for unattended vending solutions
- Innovation in vending systems has enabled an extremely diverse array of products to be sold
- Modern POS technology provides fast, secure payments for all types of unattended vending
Vending machines have been around for quite some time in various forms, from the ubiquitous soda machines to the more modern personal electronics vending systems you’ll find at many airports. However, recent trends have shown a surge in demand for vending-style payment processing across a diverse range of industries and business sectors that have typically relied on in-store payment processing methods.
Vending machines are convenient, there’s no doubt about it. They’re accessible 24/7, easy to use, and can be placed virtually anywhere. It should come as no surprise that their popularity has surged as more businesses figure out ways to deliver an increasingly varied array of products through unattended vending systems. Of course, this isn’t the only factor driving innovation in unattended vending technology. Perhaps the most dramatic impact to the world of unattended payments and vending machines has come from the global COVID-19 pandemic that has completely disrupted how we work and how we live for the past two years and counting.
Businesses have had to rapidly adapt to public health regulations and alter their operations according to protective mandates and safety requirements. Some businesses shifted to increase their reliance on e-commerce platforms, for others it has meant providing outdoor curbside pickup services, while many others have had to pivot their business models dramatically in order to stay in the game. Regardless, all sectors are experiencing an evolution in consumer behaviour as the situation progresses, including how customers prefer to pay for products and services.
The Effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic on In-Store Payments
Unsurprisingly, the COVID-19 pandemic has influenced payment technology adoption in profound ways. E-commerce solutions are now a critical element of many businesses’ success, cash payments have fallen off dramatically in favour of cashless alternatives like credit cards, debit cards, and digital e-wallets. Contactless NFC technology that allows customers to simply tap their cards to pay, instead of swipe-and-sign or chip-and-PIN, has become standard at retailers from coast to coast.
Furthermore, this quick advancement towards cashless payments and digital processing means that an increasing proportion of payments can be processed without the customer ever needing to set foot in a physical store. As more and more customers become accustomed to the added convenience and speed of paying with alternative methods, the demand for these methods to be offered in sectors that have traditionally relied on in-store payment processing will continue to grow.
What does this mean for the world of vending technology and unattended payment kiosks? Simple. It means that businesses selling products and services that have seldom or never been available for purchase using unattended methods have already started to incorporate them into their business models.
Increasing Demand for Unattended Payments in Untraditional Vending Segments
While vending used to be primarily focused on unattended sales of consumable non-perishable items, hot and cold beverages, and an expansive variety of snack foods, this has changed quite a bit over the years. Over time, machines were introduced where you could get personal electronics, fashion accessories, entertainment media, and a diverse range of other types of consumer products. As long as it was physically able to fit inside the kiosk, there were few limitations.
This diversity paved the way to even more different types of automated unattended sales kiosks. Now, you can get hot foods made fresh, like gourmet pizza and crispy French fries, made in moments at an unattended vending station. The legalization of cannabis in many countries that had previously criminalized it, has resulted in a surge in demand for medical marijuana vending machines. In Dubai, there’s a unique unattended vending machine that dispenses solid gold bars. And that’s just scratching the surface of the amazingly wide range of things that can now be obtained through unattended payment terminals.
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For a fascinating example of how unattended payment technology and vending systems have been combined to solve the challenge of rural water distribution and accessibility, let’s look closer at the innovative solutions developed by Flowpoint Environmental Systems in partnership with MONEXgroup.
How Flowpoint Environmental Systems has Brought Unattended Vending Payments to Rural Water Supply & Distribution
Getting water into the right place at the right time is critically important to farmers, rural businesses and residents who may not have a reliable water infrastructure directly on their property. To help address this problem, standalone water distribution stations are often built-in strategic locations throughout the local area, and are regularly replenished with water. These stations provide large volumes of water that is kept under temperature control for year-round accessibility, regardless of climate conditions.
In many cases in the past, these types of stations were managed by on-site personnel who would handle the operation of the water dispensing units and take care of payment processing for customers. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, health and safety measures dictated restricted access to interior store environments and limited the ability for on-site personnel to interact with customers to varying degrees.
To overcome these challenges, Flowpoint’s automation technology allowed for these stations to be completely turn-key, self-contained water dispensaries that could be accessed 24/7/365 without issue and with no appointments necessary. Then, with the addition of an unattended payment terminal from MONEXgroup, customers can manage their accounts and pay for their purchases using all types of cashless and contactless payment methods, including debit cards, credit cards, and e-wallets such as Apple Pay and Google Pay.
These types of completely unattended water dispensaries are proving to be a boon for rural communities and agricultural businesses across the country. By increasing the ease with which safe water can be accessed in remote locations, and simplifying the payment process associated with using an unattended water supply station, Flowpoint Environmental Systems and MONEXgroup have helped provide an effective solution to a core problem for businesses and residents in these areas.
Unattended Payment Systems from MONEXgroup with Enhanced Functionality & Capability
Unattended payment terminals from MONEXgroup offer many advantages and benefits that are extremely valuable for businesses in need of an untraditional vending payment solution. MONEXgroup unattended payment terminals are compatible with all types of cashless payment methods, including credit cards, debit cards, digital wallets, and more. They also feature NFC contactless technology so that payments can be completed and authorized with just a tap, speeding up the payment process and reducing the number of physical contact points.
Terminals can be equipped with wireless connectivity, allowing them to be placed virtually anywhere that a WiFi or cellular LTE network can be accessed with no need for communications cabling or wired network infrastructure. Furthermore, MONEXgroup unattended payment systems are available with ultra-rugged, weatherproof, waterproof and dirtproof construction to endure the effects of the environment and maintain reliable operation in even the harshest climate conditions. Freezing rain, sub-zero snowstorms, high winds, and torrential rain have no effect on the well-built and thoroughly-tested terminal units. They are ideal for outdoor payment processing applications such as car washes, tire inflation units, electric vehicle charging stations, parking terminals, and all types of outdoor vending machines and remote unattended sales kiosks. In a nutshell, the possibilities are virtually endless.
The payment processing software can also be custom-configured based on the unique needs of the application, enhancing the customer experience, boosting satisfaction, and further differentiating the business from competition in a positive way. The business’ branding can be incorporated into the design of the software interface as well, creating a seamless and consistent brand experience from start to finish.
In addition, unattended vending payment systems from MONEXgroup come with best-in-class customer service and technical support from our expert team of payment processing professionals. With MONEXgroup as your merchant services provider, your business can take advantage of the latest in unattended payment technology, top tier service and support, and the best payment processing rates in the industry. If your business is looking to lower operating costs, improve customer satisfaction, and streamline payment processing operations, now’s the time to contact us and get started.
Expand Your Business & Capture New Revenue Streams with Unattended Payment Processing Systems
For many businesses, the opportunity to open up new streams of revenue using unattended payment technology is very appealing. It might take some creative thinking to figure out how these types of payment terminals can be leveraged as part of your business, but with MONEXgroup as your payment processing partner, you can rest assured that you’ll have the support and expertise to make the implementation of your unattended vending payment system a tremendous success.
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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