Intelligent vending machines: The Combination of Digital Mobile Payments and AI

We are living in an era of extraordinary technological change. Right from smartphones to drones, our lives are ruled by technology, with evidence in our pockets, in the sky, at the office and even in the streets. However, when we think about cutting-edge tech, vending probably won’t be the first application to come to one’s mind.

The Berg Insight report forecasts that the number of connected machines will grow by 18.7% by the end of 2020. That means that the number of connected machines will reach a staggering 3.6 million by the end of 2020.

Clearly, the market is shifting, and companies that adopt the right technology early are the ones that are seeing better returns.

Then, why is it difficult for us to fathom the use of technology in vending? The benefits of artificial intelligence and digital payments if applied appropriately and at the right time, will yield unparalleled benefits for vending businesses not only in terms of revenue but also in reducing operational costs.

When credit and/or debit card readers for vending machines were first introduced, the benefit was just one, but the most important one; give consumers what they want, whenever they want, without the hassle of carrying cash. However, cashless payments using card readers have not taken off with vending machine owners due to two main reasons:

  1. High Capex which vending machine owners need to incur to install a card reader in the machine
  2. It only provides a single point functionality for cashless payments but fails to provide end to end business overview to vending business owners

Taking the next step forward, the industry should now focus on the next growing market, i.e. mobile-enabled payments for vending machines!

In a survey published on Statista, U.S. citizens were asked if they strongly agree, somewhat agree, somewhat disagree or strongly disagree if mobile wallets could replace physical wallets. Out of which, 26% of Samsung Pay users strongly agreed, while 31% of users somewhat agreed.

As more consumers start carrying smartphones, vending machines should add mobile payment capabilities along with applications that can streamline the entire process, making the purchase easier. Vendekin’s patented retrofittable vending machine controller not only provides a cashless interface for consumers to interact with vending machines using their smartphones but also our web app software gives an end to end business overview to our customers.

The Current Big Thing: Digital Payments

It’s no secret that cash is not the king anymore. As mentioned earlier, with the adoption of mobile wallets picking up at rapid speed, everyone, is adopting digital payments as a mode to adopt the latest trends. According to the latest statistics, the volume of digital transactions in the first six months of 2018-19 touched 11.8 billion transactions, in India alone, and is currently achieving its target of 30 billion digital payment transactions.

However, even with the steady growth of digital payment, key challenges still stall its wider adoption around the globe. These include cybersecurity, fraud prevention, and identity authentication. Moreover, lack of literacy, high cost of banking services and excessive regulatory requirements are the key constraints for this mode of payment. It is also important to note that enabling a cashless payment on the vending machine is expensive for the operator due to the high costs associated with card readers. Enter Vendekin.

With Vendekin’s easy to set-up and easy to use technology, vending businesses will be using cutting edge technology at an affordable cost to multiply growth. Using our consumer app, businesses will be able to cash-in (pun intended) on the growing demand for digital payments.

The Next Big Thing: Artificial Intelligence

In this current era, where vendors are continuously looking for improved ways that will help enhance the consumer experience, the intelligent vending machine market has emerged as one of the most rapidly progressing business verticals.

Evidently, the conventional vending machine has undergone a paradigm shift with AI and sensor-based technologies over the last couple of years, successfully changing the way tech-savvy consumers are paying and purchasing.

Recently, PepsiCo partnered with Roby technologies to develop a self-driving vending machine called ‘Snackbot’. And, it goes without saying that PepsiCo is not the only industry giant leveraging AI to advance its vending business. As per certain reports, there is a massive rise in consumption of a variety of beverages, including juices, energy drinks, cold drinks, etc., have significantly impacted the sales and demand for vending machines.

With the introduction of AI, the vending machine market is expected to register a CAGR of 16% over 2019-2024.

Intelligent Vending Machines with Vendekin

For machines of this generation, intelligence basically equals to interacting with the consumer, identifying their preferences and carrying out unique orders tailored to their needs.

With Vendekin’s retrofittable hardware & supporting software, your vending machine will do exactly that! By providing easy to use applications, interface and cashless payment options, consumers using vending machines with our technology will get what they want, however, they want it! Moreover, using Vendekin’s software, businesses will also be able to increase operational efficiency. By using the data generating from vending machines, the app can guide operators to eliminate stock-out and pilferage scenarios, thereby increasing profits while reducing risks.

We at Vendekin take pride in designing a digital product that yields benefits for the users – be it the final consumer or the vending business purchasing our software. Additionally, our goal is to make a platform that is easy to understand and affordable for vending businesses of all sizes. The Vendekin software has modules which can be tailored to specific business needs allowing vending businesses to invest in only that which aligns with their business needs.

Vending machine technology is advancing across the world, and innovation in this field is everywhere if you know where to look. With machine learning keeping pace with robotics, already-impressive machinery is setting the bar high.

We, at Vendekin, are making the most of this changing era… are you?

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