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The Touch-and-Go Future of Sport Nutrition Vending

The Touch-and-Go Future of Sport Nutrition Vending

The worldwide vending industry has a history of adapting to consumer trends and preferences. In fact, you could make the case that such adaptation is what gave birth to sport nutrition vending a little more than a decade ago. Consumers wanted vending machines with more nutritional products that enhanced their desire for a healthier lifestyle, and we responded. The next big wave of adaptation could be in touch-and-go payments.

Research from Vianet, a tech company that specialises in smart payment systems for the vending and hospitality sectors, indicates that consumers are more accepting of touch-and-go payments than ever before. And among the demographic group most likely to use cash for vending transactions, adoption of touch-and-go is growing.

Also known as contactless payment, touch-and-go payment relies on using debit and credit cards. But rather than inserting those cards into a vending machine, the cards are processed using a mobile app. A user simply activates the app within proximity of a vending machine receiver to complete a transaction.

What the Research Reveals

It has always been assumed that touch-and-go payments would be the exclusive domain of millennials and the generations that follow them. But the Vianet research shows otherwise. Statistics indicate that consumers in the 60+ demographic are among the fastest growing adopters of touch-and-go payments. Their acceptance of contactless payment increased at a rate of 116% in 2016 alone. Vianet's research was conducted among 2,000 consumers known to use a variety of payment systems for routine transactions.

Vianet managing director Matt Lane says that the numbers don't lie. He also says that they should not be ignored. The fact that millennials easily adopt touch-and-go payments because they have grown up on electronic transactions is one thing, but people in the 60+ age group warming to touch-and-go "speaks volumes".

Contactless Vending Machines

Those of us in sport nutrition vending have been well acquainted with vending machines capable of electronic transactions for some time now. Indeed, it is routine to see vending machines accept debit and credit cards. What Vianet is suggesting is a future in which card readers will not be necessary any more. People will just use their mobile phones to make touch-and-go payments at vending machines.

The advantage of this model is one of security. Where there are no card readers, scammers cannot attach their own readers to steal credit and debit card information. Each transaction will be its own unique entity separate from the vending machine from which the purchase is made. Without contact, stealing data is much more difficult.

Should touch-and-go payments become the norm for traditional vending, there is little doubt that sport nutrition vending will get on board too. We might even be a leader in adopting the technology. If it will help increase sales and get more machines into more locations, it is technology worth adopting. If not, touch-and-go payments could be relegated to the scrap heap of other technologies that never made it to the market.


Vending International –

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