Last month, the 365 International team packed up a few kiosks and hit the road to join in the excitement at the 2016 CAMA Expo, September 15 – 17, 2016 in British Columbia. Sales of 365’s MicroMarket kiosks have taken off in Canada, making this event a great opportunity for face time with our customers.
The Canadian Automatic Merchandising Association hosts the Expo as their annual flagship event to connect exhibitors and operators through product showcases, networking, and educational sessions, furthering their vision of elevating professionalism and leadership in the vending and office coffee service industry.
The 365 crew included Chief Operating Officer John Chidiac, Account Executive Jon Floyd, and International Coordinator Jessica Cox. After some time well spent at the Expo, they were excited to share their experience.
According to Jessica, “The CAMA show was a great opportunity for a wide variety of vendors and suppliers to come together in a more intimate setting, and discuss the many possibilities of partnership for the future of the vending industry.”
“As usual, CAMA provides a unique setting to give customers and exhibitors an environment that allows for productive discussions.” John added, regarding the event.
When it comes to which payment solution to offer in your MicroMarket, is variety the spice of life? The short answer is: yes! 365 Retail Markets’ CEO, Joe Hessling says, “Your goal is to provide the right payment method, for the right consumer, at the right time. If you don’t, you run the risk of losing that customer’s business forever.” He recommends talking to the location to tailor the payment methods to best fit the customer-base.
There are hundreds of different payment methods and technologies available today. To help you provide the best service for your customers, we’ve compiled a list of the popular payment methods and the pros and cons of each.
Cash and Coins
As Vending and MicroMarket Operators, you are all too familiar with the crinkle of paper and the jingle of change. But is cash really the best option for your MicroMarket? The answer is, it’s complicated. By accepting cash and coins, you need a machine that can dispense change. You also have to keep count and replace the cash regularly.
Paper bills and coins
Customers are familiar and comfortable with cash and coins, which may make market adoption easier
Operators have to manage cash payments and refunds
Kiosks need to be equipped with bill validators and bill recyclers
An alternative to this would be to accept cash at the kiosk only to fund stored value accounts. MicroMarket kiosks such as 365’s Gen3c has this capability.
Stored Value Accounts
What are stored value accounts? Glad you asked. A stored value account is a prepaid account that consumers can fund either online or at the kiosk. They can then access those funds via a market card, employee badge, login ID and PIN or through biometrics like a thumb or fingerprint.
What makes stored value accounts great?
Research from a Bachtelle and Associates1 survey says that market cards account for:
65.9% of revenue
68.7% of products purchased
Another way to leverage stored value accounts is by using payroll deduct. Payroll deduct is a Human Resource-based incentive where funds are pulled from an employee’s paycheck as they use their market account.
Prepaid account where the funds can be added online or at the kiosk
Reduces or eliminates the use of cash
Contributes 66% of revenue
Great tool to implement customer loyalty programs
Allows for customer purchase history data
Fewer merchant fees when compared to credit and debit transactions
Funds loaded into a stored value account cannot be counted as revenue until they are actually used. Beware not to count these funds as revenue as it could lead to accounting issues. NAMA recommends consulting an attorney or accountant to “determine how local and state laws treat prepaid balance accounts (NAMA’s Micro Market Manual).”
NFC and Mobile Payments
NFC and mobile payments are gaining in popularity in the retail space, so implementing the technology into your MicroMarkets makes sense. NFC or near-field communication technology “allows two devices placed within a few centimeters of each other to exchange data” (Cnet.com), such as a smartphone. With mobile payments expected to increase by 128% in 2017, according to eMarketer, the time is ripe to begin implementing a mobile payment solution in your MicroMarket. There are many mobile payment platforms available: Apple Pay, Android Pay, Samsung Pay, Visa Checkout, MasterCard Contactless, etc.
NFC-based payments offer an additional layer of security for both Operators and consumers. Instead of transferring the consumer’s credit card number to the merchant, a unique, one-time-use security code called a token is generated for the transaction.
A secure payment method via mobile devices including Android and iPhones.
Growing payment method.
Offers more security than credit and debit card purchases.
Although adoption of mobile payment technology is increasing, it is still new and may take time to become a commonplace payment method.
Credit and Debit Cards
Credit and debit cards remain the most popular form of payment in MicroMarkets with 49% of transactions being swipe-based (Automatic Merchandiser). However there are Interchange and Merchant fees that are associated with accepting swipe payments. Be sure to look over the fee breakdowns carefully.
Plastic card with a magnetic stripe and as of 2015, the EMV chip.
Responsible for 49% of MicroMarket transactions
Fees, fees, fees!
Cashless payments are on the rise. Is your MicroMarket ready?
There’s no doubt that Millennials already influence a great deal of change in the workplace. Specifically, companies are turning to more gourmet food and beverage options, offering a more flexible work/life balance, and even reformatting the in-office workplace to include more collaborative spaces. This is all in response to the generation of 18 to 34 year olds who value…continue reading.
The vending industry is currently experiencing a significant shift in legal compliance and customer engagement. Not only are the caloric disclosure FDA regulations taking effect in December 2016, but consumer expectations are increasingly focused on informed healthy snacking and cashless payment methods.
Without the proper tools, keeping up can feel impossible. The simplest solution is to integrate technology, but avoiding pricey machine updates is crucial.
Digital vending accessories are the solution. Products like AirVend can be retrofitted to enable existing machines to accept a wider variety of payment methods and display signage containing nutritional information and promotional details.