Are Cashless Vending Machines the Future?

When vending machines were invented in the 1850s, they were designed to only take coins. Then, in the mid-1960s, they began to accept paper money. Now, more than 50 years later, vending machines are beginning to accept cashless forms of payment. It’s becoming so standard that some people are wondering, do vending machines still take cash?

It’s a valid question, considering many younger folks often do not carry any cash with them whatsoever. With credit cards and digital payments like Apple Pay and Google Wallet, there often isn’t a need to clutter up pockets with cash. But what direction is the vending industry headed in? Will cashless payments become the norm, or even one day the only accepted form of payment? Here is some more information about cashless options in vending machines.

Carrying less cash

Younger people are carrying less cash these days. In fact, they’re often not carrying any cash at all. According to a 2017 U.S. Bank Cash Behavior Survey, about 80 percent of people carry less than $50 on them on a regular basis. What’s more, half of all Americans carry $20 or less on a daily basis, and 9 percent carry no cash at all.

In short, cash is no longer cool. In the same survey, more than 60 percent of American adults reported feeling the United States will be completely cashless in their lifetime, and 46 percent say they are already using cash fewer than 8 days per month.

Millennials are leading the charge in their vision of a future with a cashless society. Over half of 18-to-29-year-olds (56 percent) say they are comfortable having no cash on them, and only 42 percent say they always have at least some cash on them at all times.

This is no surprise considering the connection the financial industry has formed with the tech industry. The convenience of having the ability to pay for something simply by tapping your smartphone to a sensor, combined with the security of authorizing the payment with your fingerprint, is too good to resist. Nearly everyone uses a smartphone these days, especially Millennials and the younger Gen Z, so it’s hard to see this trend going away anytime soon.

Cashless payment in vending machines

Vending machines have been adapting to this new cashless world as well. Many vending machines have been accepting credit card payments for years now, and more and more vending machines are also able to accept digital payments from Apple Pay and Google Wallet. The benefits of this are not just seen on the consumer side—they’re palpable for the vender as well.

When a consumer uses a convenient source of payment like credit cards or digital currency, they are more likely to spend more freely. That means quick purchases like snacks from a vending machine are easier to complete, and not having to reach into a wallet for cash may just make a consumer more likely to make a purchase.

For all your vending machine needs, and to find out more about what direction the vending industry is headed in, contact VSI Vending & Coffee Services today.

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