Payment Trends in the Vending Industry

From technological advancements to changes in consumer behavior, there are quite a few payment trends set to impact the vending industry for the remainder of 2020 and beyond.

The current COVID-19 pandemic has impacted almost every business under the sun in one way or another, including the vending industry. Because so many vending machines are located in office spaces and public areas, there has been a significant decline in economic activity since the beginning of the year. This is due in part to employees working from home and doing their best to social distance.

As cases of COVID-19 steadily decline, people are slowly transitioning into their normal routines again. As such, offices are reopening, and people are more willing to go out in public. There are high hopes that this will increase the use of machines in those areas, and many vending companies are taking extra precautions to keep customers safe. Here are some of the leading payment trends in the vending industry right now:

Cashless Payments

Although the use of cash has declined over the years with many people turning to credit cards and other forms of payment, COVID-19 has increased the momentum of cashless payments even more. In fact, ATM transactions were down by over 20% for 11 weeks straight due to the stay-at-home orders that were put in place. Conversely, a Michigan State University study measured the performance of 250,000 vending machines and found that, over an 18-month period, the total number of transactions increased by 26% on machines that allowed for cashless payments.

Many people are hesitant to handle cash for fear that it is “dirty” and could be another way that COVID-19 is spread from person to person. To put customers at ease, many vending companies are doing away with cash altogether for the time being, only offering credit card and contactless payment as options.

Contactless Payment

In a recent Mastercard survey, 82% of respondents worldwide felt that contactless payment methods were the “cleaner” way to pay, and 72% of them stated that they will continue to use contactless payments post-pandemic. To vending companies, this information speaks volumes, and many are busy searching for new ways of doing business with their customers.

Contactless payments allow customers to purchase vending products with credit and debit cards, smartphones, and other devices that use radio-frequency identification or near field communication for making secure payments. Customers simply hover their card or device of choice over the contactless reader to complete the transaction. It’s a quick and easy solution that will keep customers safe and decrease checkout time.

Payment Security

With an influx of cashless payments, vending companies are constantly looking for the latest in payment technologies to ensure that their customers’ sensitive credit card data is safe and secure.  EMV card readers and contactless payment devices use encryption to protect card data.  With encryption technologies, credit card data is no longer stored inside payment terminals, greatly reducing the likelihood of card information being stolen.  By implementing a payment solution with the latest security features, vending companies can provide a payment experience that customers can trust.

Voice Commands

We live in a world where talking to our devices is nothing but ordinary. Voice command software, such as Siri and Alexa, allows us to communicate with our smartphones and even our houses. What if a vending machine could do the same? Surprise – it can.

Vending companies are incorporating that same voice command software into their machines to keep up with current technology trends, better interact with customers, and most importantly, offer a contactless payment solution. The software can greet customers, offer advice on product selection, and help them through their payment process. Not only does this get customers engaged, it also gets them sharing their experience of the “talking vending machine.”

Digital Display Devices

To further enhance customer engagement, many devices also offer new marketing opportunities as well. Digital displays have become an extremely popular feature on payment devices, allowing for both advertisements and customer interaction.  Companies can create their own digital content to display on their vending machines and have indicated it is a new source of revenue now. Companies can digitize their logos, show ads and commercials, or display nutritional information on their vending products with the right payment device.

Remote Menus

In our How COVID-19 is Impacting Payments in the Vending Industry blog, we discussed how remote menus have become a desirable alternative to consumers physically touching vending machines and payment terminals. Using an app on their own mobile phones, customers can purchase their items from a distance without ever touching the vending machine.

ID TECH’s Vending Solutions

ID TECH offers a variety of secure vending payment solutions. Of these options is the VP6300, an ideal solution for vending machine operators looking for a secure cashless solution supporting magnetic stripe, EMV Chip and contactless cards, and NFC mobile payments. Through the integrated, high-contrast color digital display, customers can be guided to tap, insert, or swipe to complete their transaction. Multiple applications such as MasterCard PayPass, Visa VCPS, American Express ExpressPay, and Discover DPAS are supported on the ID TECH VP6300.

For more information on ID TECH vending solutions, click here.


ID TECH is a leading payment peripheral provider with expertise in magnetic stripe, EMV contact, EMV contactless, and OEM customization solutions.  We have a strong foundation and continued success rooted in card readers and are always expanding our product offering to provide innovative solutions for the ever-evolving payments industries.  Payment Security is an integral part of our product offering, and ID TECH as a company prides itself at being at the forefront of payment security in our design, development, manufacturing, and sales processes.

To learn more about ID TECH, please visit our about page.

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