These days, only 41 percent of Americans carry cash around with them. And the millennials leading this trend dismiss paying by cash as “inconvenient.” Convenience is the driving force of any vending machine business. As such, installing a credit card reader on all your machines is essential to thrive in our near-cashless society.
Although it’s not only the days of customers smoothing down dollar bills to pay for snacks that could be about to disappear. Contactless payment systems are finally starting to take off in the US. This means that standard chip and PIN card payment systems might not cut it anymore either.
But before you invest in contactless vending machine accessories, it pays to know the top types of payment systems available. Keep reading to find out more.
The Top Contactless Payment Methods
Contactless payment systems use near field communication (NFC) technology. This allows consumers to tap their card, smartphone, or another device near a contactless reader to pay without entering their PIN.
With contactless phone or smartwatch payments, consumers don’t even need their card. This offers added convenience for vending machines in gyms, where customers might not have their credit card to hand. Contactless payments are also a lot more hygienic, which is a bonus for vending machines in locations like hospitals and clinics.
If your vending machine card readers aren’t NFC-capable, don’t panic. Our new card readers have the necessary hardware to install no contact payment systems. Here’s a rundown of the top payment systems around:
Apple’s 43.9 percent share of US smartphone sales makes Apple Pay popular with retailers. Consumers can set up Apple Pay using their iPhone, Apple Watch, or iPad. Although, iPads won’t work for contactless payments. To ensure your vending machines can accept Apple Pay, they must have an NFC-capable PoS terminal and the correct software.
Google Pay allows retailers to accept contactless payments through the customer’s Google account. Unlike Apple Pay, consumers can use their tablet for contactless Google Pay payments. Google Pay also works with any Android phone or smartwatch with Android 5.0 or higher, NFC capabilities, and host card emulation (HCE). To accept Google Pay contactless payments your vending machine must use a Google Pay processor.
Samsung Pay isn’t as well known as its competitors. Although, Samsung’s 26.9 percent share of US smartphone sales makes it a good option for your vending machine business. Not least because Samsung’s technology also allows contactless payments via magnetic strip terminals.
Visa has driven 100 million Visa-branded contactless cards into the US market. This move has allowed Americans to continue paying by card as their preferred contactless method. With NFC capabilities, your vending machines can take advantage of this continuing preference.
Your Guide to Contactless Payment Systems
The trend for contactless payments is finally gaining momentum in the US. Consumers are now recognizing the speed, convenience, and safety contactless payment systems offer.
As a vending machine operator, this is a trend you can’t afford to miss out on. For more information on updating your vending machines with contactless card readers, contact us today!
Not all snack machines are the same, be sure your machine is reliable!
More than Just Snack Machines
If you are new to or thinking about getting in the snack machine business, we should first let you know that the vending machine business covers much more than simply snacks! With drinks, combo drink-snack machines, and school supplies, there isn’t anything that can’t be sold in a vending machine! With the knowledge that there are now endless possibilities available to you, here are some questions to consider:
Are you ready to be your own boss?
Many of us dream of being our own boss. Picking your own hours, choosing who you work with, and the length of your commute is all liberating. The advantages also come with plenty of responsibilities, so be sure you are ready to shoulder the work that comes with being the boss.
Are you motivated?
Starting your own vending machine business means no more 9-5 schedule. You must be willing to stay until the work gets done! Some days will require the entirety of your day, while other days pass in the blink of an eye. One of the best parts of working with vending machines is that many times they can conform to your schedule. Depending on the location, vending machines generate sales 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and could be serviced at any point in the day!
If you have the motivation and desire the freedom that comes with being your own boss; we recommend contacting NAMA (the National Automatic Merchandising Association.) They have collected a series of invaluable resources that will provide you with the information needed to make sure your company hits the ground running! Call (312) 346-0370 to contact NAMA or visit their website: www.vending.org.
Food For Thought:
Pick the Right Brand of Vending Machine
Not all vending machines are the same. Steady income of your business is dependent upon minimizing the downtown and maximizing the sales for your individual machines, and a lesser machine is simply going to make your life harder. Because the type and quality of vending machines vary so greatly, we recommend taking a look at NAMA-certified vending machines or calling a local vending company (click here for a list of vendors by state)
Watch Out for “Biz-Op” Scammers
Some companies will sell a route with inferior machines claiming a stake in a franchise that exists only in name. After you have committed your time and money, the company will have stolen your money and ran!
If you find a passion for owning and operating your own vending machines, you can stay in the business for life! Set your schedule every week and above all take pride in being your own boss!
Schools are cracking down on unhealthy snacks, but that doesn’t mean school vending machines are out of the picture.
As of July 1st, 2014, schools that participate in the National School Lunch Program are required to adhere to the USDA standard called “Smart Snacks In School (SSIS)”.
The SSIS program aims to improve the health of school children across the nation. Founded on evidence-based research and practicality, it encourages schools to sell healthy foods. More so, foods that are aligned with the USDA’s Dietary Guidelines for Americans. These guidelines suggest the consumption of more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy options. These will also help limit calories, fat, sugar, and sodium.
In short, healthier foods are in, junk food is out.
43 Percent of elementary schools, 74 percent of middle schools, and 98 percent of high schools offer vending machines to their students.
In the past, most school vending machines have been loaded up with sugary candy, salty snacks, and beverages. These completely lack any nutritional value. They add fuel to the fire of the obesity epidemic that affects children (and adults) across the country. As a result of this, and the new legislation, many schools have decided to completely ban junk food everywhere. Others have decided to focus their attention on the contents of their vending machines.
Thanks to these regulations the vending machine industry has become more creative with their offerings. More healthy foods such as fruits, vegetables, smart snacks, and healthy beverage options are offered.
Instead of stocking school with apple pies, cheese crackers, and nacho chips, options like sunflower seeds, baked chips, and low-fat popcorn are now seen as far better ways to fulfill those midday munchies. Soda is also a big no-no in schools. The sugar and calories are seen as prime targets in anti-obesity efforts. Smarter beverage options can include bottled water, seltzer, and flavored water. Additionally, 100% fruit or vegetable juice, fat-free milk, or other low-calorie drinks.
Healthy snacking options are now available from almost every distributor and allow your vending machines to be a source of nutritious snack and beverage options, instead of an endless stream of empty calories. If you’re looking to change your vending machine business over from junk food to smart snacking there are tons of options out there; just take a look! And if you’re looking to start your own vending machine business give A&M Equipment Sales a call, we’re here to help!
Reasons to Have a Coffee Machine in Your Workplace
Coffee is one of the most valuable traded commodities in the world, second only to oil. A nice cup of coffee, made from a Coffee Vending Machine, is the perfect way to start in the morning or it can keep you company during the day. More importantly, coffee is a core part of the workday. But what is coffee without a good coffee machine in your office?
At work, the good old coffee pot is not enough to satisfy the different cravings of your employees and customers anymore. People want espresso, latte, cappuccino, hot chocolate and some even demand soup out of their office coffee machines.
Recent studies revealed that employees think that high-quality coffee offered by employers is a vital workplace perk, proving that the company cares about its workers. So it is time to deal with the fact that having a coffee machine in your workplace is a necessity, even more so than pens and paper nowadays.
Four Reasons Why You Need a Coffee Vending Machine in The Office
Investing in a quality coffee machine for your business does not only have benefits for employees, but it can improve the whole work environment and increase workers’ productivity. If you are still not sure why or whether you need a coffee vending machine in your office, here are four excellent reasons to have one.
1. Coffee Improves Productivity at Work
Caffeine is a strong stimulant that helps employee fight off sluggishness and keeps mental alertness, energy, and endurance at work. Throughout the workday, most people undergo a decline in mental abilities. Because of the normal human biorhythm, many people feel mental acuity to flag at around 10 AM and 2 PM. This is connected to the production of a chemical responsible for sleepiness, adenosine, which links to receptors that slow down brain activity. The more adenosine, the more you feel tired. Caffeine has a similar structure to adenosine, binding to the same receptors but as it is not adenosine, the sleepiness effect is not felt.
*Check Out this Video By TED-ED if you would like to know more.
2. Coffee in The Office Helps Networking
Taking a coffee break with colleagues during the workday is nowadays a widespread and ingrained habit in office culture. Meeting or inviting co-workers to take a coffee is a perfect occasion to foster relationships, network and talk things over in a more relaxed way. The Swedes even have a word for it, ‘Fika,’ and they believe that it’s during the coffee break that most work gets done.
A study at MIT proved that coffee breaks have a positive effect of increasing the strength of groups in the workplace and they also increase productivity. Having a cup of coffee in the office with your colleagues may also create a space where new ideas are born. People tend to exchange opinions by merely chatting over a cup of something hot.
3. Coffee Makes Workers Happy
“Depresso,” the feeling you get when you have run out of your coffee can be a real productivity killer. In a Harvard study, women who drank 4 or more cups of coffee per day had a 20% lower risk of becoming depressed. Caffeine affects the level of dopamine and serotonin in the brain, preventing their re-absorption, which makes you feel happy. Obviously, the happiness of employees is proportionate to the number of coffee varieties they can choose, so having a proper office coffee machine is fundamental to keep workers happy and foster a positive work environment.
4. Coffee Keeps People Honest at Work
Fortune reports that “People who get too little sleep are prone to go along with unethical practices at work unless they up their caffeine intake”. Sleep-deprived people are more susceptible to undertake unethical behaviors but caffeine can help strengthen will-power and self-control. Employers should always make sure they don’t overwork their employees, but sometimes it’s not up to them to decide how much rest they get. What is up to them, though, is how much coffee they offer in the workplace. To ensure that employees are on their best ethical behavior, plenty of coffee should be available at all times.
Even More, Reasons to Get a Coffee Vending Machine for Your Business
These are only four of the many good reasons why having a coffee machine at work is important. Overall, being able to take a break from work and enjoy a good cup of coffee makes people happier and better at their jobs. Of course, coffee is not the only thing you need for a healthy and productive work environment, but it is a way for an employer to show his or her employees that they care about them.
Employees will typically take breaks and socialize during working hours, whether they have a coffee machine or not. Employers can encourage this behavior to show that they respect their workers’ needs. In turn, employees who feel like their needs are taken into consideration, will work better and avoid sneaking behind the boss’ back. A simple gesture like getting a coffee machine for your workplace can go a long way to make everybody happier and more productive.
Sources : https://www.bbc.com/capital/story/20160112-in-sweden-you-have-to-stop-work-to-chat https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/top-13-evidence-based-health-benefits-of-coffee#section4 https://fortune.com/2014/04/16/how-coffee-can-keep-workers-honest/ video -https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=foLf5Bi9qXs&t=92s
If you are interested in finding the best refurbished vending machine, you’ll want to ask yourself these questions; watch the video. Let’s assume you want a reliable machine that’s easy to maintain with little trouble and customers will be happy with it.
Does the refurbished vending machine look brand new?
How was the machine painted?
Was it sanded and smoothed down before the paint was applied?
What do the trim strips look like?
Is the glass scratch free and clean?
Do the lights work? Are they LED or regular lights?
What do the spirals and trays look like?
Does the refurbished vending machine work perfectly?
Has the machine been taken apart and inspected?
Has the machine been tested with money?
Has the pricing been setup?
Has the pricing been checked for proper operation?
Can the machine be customized with specific visual fronts and graphics?
Can a cashless payment system be included?
What kind of recourse do you have if there’s a problem with the machine when you receive it?
Are you dealing with someone who has been in business for a long time?
Is the company solution oriented with additional upgrades?
Does the company you are buying from have a good reputation?
Here’s a look at A&M Equipment Sales refurbishment process from receiving the worn machine to the completely refurbished vending machine with all the steps in between. See A&M Equipment Sales current refurbished vending machines.
Car Wash Vending The biggest advantage to vending in a car wash business is to capture more profits.
Car Wash Vending For the full service car wash facility, traditional vending works by providing a snack and soda machine in the waiting area. You can also stock the machine with car wash products and accessories.
For the self-service car wash, the vending machines will likely sit outside. The AMS Outsider is the best fit for outdoor vending due to the environment (cooling and/or heating) and safety (difficult to break in). It is an all purpose vending machine.
Car Wash Vending Tom Shivers: Hi, I’m Tom Shivers with the Vending Business Show here again with Larry Towner, a vending business consultant. So thanks for being here, Larry.
Larry Towner: Thanks Tom.
Tom Shivers: Tell us a little about your background in vending.
Larry Towner: I have been in vending since 1986, and I just recently sold my business in 2010 and completed the sale as of 2012. It took a while to get rid of it, to get rid of all of it, I sold a piecemeal. But then got into the consulting business. I help people place vending machines, run their vending operations more efficiently, and basically do general business consulting.
Tom Shivers: Now when you think about car washes, what kind of opportunity is there for vending?
Larry Towner: If you’re a car wash operator, probably the biggest advantage to vending is it allows you to capture other sales which equates to other dollars and other profits from one of two, well, a couple of ways. But one way is, is that if you run a a full service car wash, you know the difference between full service and self service Tom? I’m sure you do.
Tom Shivers: I think so. But-
Larry Towner: So if you’re running a full service car wash … Go ahead.
Tom Shivers: I meant to say, go ahead, tell me.
Larry Towner: Oh, tell you what the difference is? Well, a full service car wash is one where the people actually run their car through the tunnel as it were, and in a self service car wash it’s the wand type car washes, where you pull your car into a bay and you spray down your car and do those kinds of things.
Larry Towner: So in this full service facilities, generally because you’re going to get out of your car, you go into a waiting area and they run your car through them, then they do the full service on your car, those are the opportunities where you actually do what we would call traditional vending. You might have a snack machine and a soda machine in the facility inside. That’s a great way to take space that would otherwise be used not as efficiently, to have a magazine rack. Instead of a magazine Rack, put in a snack and a soda machine and, capture some sales from the refreshments because in the meantime, while they’re sitting there waiting for their car, if they’re looking at a pair of machines, it’s very attractive. It might spur some of those add on sales.
Larry Towner: You also can take that snack machine and you can convert it into sales of things like car fresheners or drying towels or any kind of knick knack that you might sell in your facility anyway. But you can have it sell via a vending means instead of having to actually have somebody in that facility.
Larry Towner: In the outside or the self service car wash, one of the big concerns there is going to be the fact that the machines are generally going to sit outside. And one of the big concerns when you place a vending machine outside, and it doesn’t matter what kind of outside vending you’re doing, one of the biggest issues is security. Will the machine get broken into and will they rob you blind? That’s something that actually is … has a specific, we have a specific machine for that. It’s called the AMS Outsider. This machine was designed with a couple of things in mind. One of the other concerns when you’re outside has to do with the environment. Obviously if you’re … We’re here in the south, but if you’re in the south of the north you have heating and cooling issues. If it’s 100 degrees out, the snacks and candy and things that you put in the machine are going to turn into goo. If it’s 20 out, they’re going to freeze. And so the machines, when you do an outside vending, they need to be insulated. They need to have a cooling unit and/or heating unit in the machines. And fortunately the AMS Outsider has that. It has a cooling deck in it. Cooling by, just like in a heat pump into your house, you can heat with it as well, so it can keep the temperature up when it’s cold and it keeps the temperature down when it’s hot.
Larry Towner: So that’s one thing. And the people at AMS also designed this machine specifically for outside vending. They’re very, very aware of the needs of outside vendors. They have case hardened hasps on these, the T-handles are all case hardened. These are things that you’re not going to put a drill into and drill through them. You can, but you’re going to spend 40 drill bits trying to get into them, trust me, I know. Yeah, right?
Larry Towner: And so these are the things that they’ve specifically designed this machine for this kind of vending. Again, with that outside vending location. The beauty of this AMS Outsider is it’s a cooled machine, so you can actually run drinks in it. Our people at A&M Equipment have special spirals and things that allow you to run drinks in that machine. So you can sell drinks, you can sell snacks, you can sell all kinds of car wash accessories, the towels, the car fresheners, all the accessory items that you would want to sell. All can be changed. This machine can be customized to your particular needs and that’s what makes it so special. It becomes an all-purpose vendor instead of just a specific, it’s not item specific, it becomes all-purpose. So that’s why we’re really excited about it.
Tom Shivers: Yeah, it sounds like a good one. Well, thanks for sharing, Larry. Tell us more about what you do.
Larry Towner: Well, we do consulting mostly for the vending and coin-op business. We help people either start new businesses the right way and/or make their current running businesses more profitable. We’re available at [email protected], now spell it out, at [email protected].
Tom Shivers: And you’ve been watching Car Wash Vending at the Vending Business Show, a publication of A&M Equipment Sales. More Blogs on the Vending Business Show Hotel Vending