How COVID-19 is Impacting Payments in the Vending Industry

Since the arrival of the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, the vending industry has experience multiple changes and setbacks. There have been food and packaging shortages, vending machines are now carrying protective masks and sanitizers, and new technology is being developed to disinfect vending purchases.  However, one of the biggest changes is that consumers are now afraid of becoming infected by their payment cards from using contaminated payment devices. As a result, a payment revolution has occurred where vending machines are being supplied with the newest payment devices and technologies that accept contactless payments.

The Rise of Contactless

Many countries have lagged behind in contactless adoption while other countries have embraced the new technology by constantly raising the contactless pay limits and installing contactless payment devices for customer convenience. Likewise, vending machines have had a slow payment evolution that began with coin acceptance and has progressed to contact and contactless EMV payments. Now, vending has progressed at a tremendous rate as they not only offer contactless technologies but end-to-end solutions where new payment devices allow consumers to select their desired purchase without any machine proximity.

Are Contactless Payments Secure?

Many consumers are reluctant to switch from contact EMV to contactless or mobile wallets because they are afraid the newer technology is less secure. However, what many consumers don’t realize is that one is as equally safe as the other. It is impossible to extract any data from contactless cards through skimming, scanning, or any extraction methods because a POS system secured by an acquiring bank is the only object that can communicate with a contactless card or mobile wallet.    

Contactless cards also have safeguards in place; they require a limit on transactions or a reset code if too many suspicious purchases are made. Additionally, like a normal EMV card, the bank covers any theft purchases that are made after a contactless card is reported lost or stolen. As a result, contactless cards are less vulnerable to theft and counterfeit fraud than older payment methods.  

The Future of Vending Technologies

Many new technologies are being invented to limit any contact that customers can have with vending machines. For example, ViaTouch’s Vicki, a high-ticket vending machine, adopted contactless payment technology for an easier and safer payment experience. As the virus progressed, the Vicki also installed UV-C self-sanitizing technology and touchless product selection abilities to give customers an added layer of protection.

On a larger scale, Gilly Vending has begun offering remote menu selections for vending machines, so customers no longer have to touch their vending device screens to initiate a purchase.  Using a mobile app, customers can view, research, and purchase their items on their mobile phones without ever touching the vending machine. 

The vending industry has made some exciting changes in the face of adversity, and as the world continues to navigate life after COVID-19, we can only wait and see what other new payment technologies will emerge as a result. 

To learn more about ID TECH’s vending solutions, visit our Vending Solutions page here.


ID TECH is a leading global 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 and our dedication to achieving payment security, please visit our about page.

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