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Mobile payments are entering vending machines and our lives

June 5, 2015

Mobile payments are becoming commonplace. 

Ever stand in front of a snack vending machine frustrated that you don’t have the last five cents to complete the transaction and get your treat? With cashless payments, that never has to be you again. Today, even vending machines are becoming mobile payment-compatible and users can use their smartphones to purchase beverages or candy bars without fumbling through loose change. Mobile payments are expected to capture greater retail market share in coming years, allowing consumers to make all types of purchases.

Mobile payments and smart technology can offer consumers a new experience
PYMNTS explained that as the Internet of Things evolves over time, smart vending machines are just one of the many ways payments technology can make a noticeable difference in the world.  In the future, smart vending machines will be equipped with software, hardware and security to enable payment processing. Intel is working on their own PC-based platform in order to retrofit these classic machines. Jose Avalos, worldwide director of visual retail at Intel, discussed some of the ways that this new technology will benefit consumers.

“By consolidating multiple workloads onto a single vending platform, manufacturers can free up time to focus on meeting the increasing expectations of today’s tech-savvy consumers,” said Avalos, according to the news source. “For example, customers can integrate new natural user interfaces, social media capabilities, loyalty programs and nutritional information – all of which will have a positive impact on the consumer’s vending experience.”

“Paying with phones in stores is going to become commonplace.”

It is exciting to think about other ways that smart technology and mobile payments can be incorporated into everyday life. Because electronic methods can keep track of your user preferences, vending machines will be able to recommend snacks you like, ticket vendors can offer you the seats you prefer for concerts or sporting events and, when traveling, your smartphone will be able to tell you where the closest three star hotel that is located and help you book your room. The options are limitless.

Technology companies demonstrate their commitment to mobile payments
Apple, Google, Samsung, PayPal and notable companies have upped their efforts in the mobile payments space. Over time, paying with phones in stores is going to be commonplace. Business Insider explained why these tech companies are so excited their own payment products. In the U.S., in-store mobile payments are expected to reach $37 billion this year – revised down slightly after a few tech companies delayed the launch of their new products.  

Mobile payments are expected to grow more popular in the next few years. Vending machines will not be equipped with mobile payments.

The media outlet also forecast that by 2019, mobile payment transaction volume will reach $808 billion. Many large U.S. retailers, accounting for a large percentage of the overall consumer market, have already enabled, or will begin to implement plans to make mobile payments a part of their regular business. It is thus not surprising that the number of people using mobile payments is expected to grow from 8 percent in 2014 to 65 percent by 2019. That growth is mostly due to strides in the technology made by Apple, Samsung and Google. Accordingly, approximately 90 percent of smartphones in the U.S. will come with mobile wallets pre-installed.

The prevalence of a large number of mobile wallets in the market is sure to give mobile payment adoption rates a hefty boost. Additionally, the more consumers and retailers use mobile payments in-store and online, the more the trend will catch on with others.

The mobile payments generation
Payment Week mentioned that a reason 2016 should be a big year for mobile payments is because of the upgrade in sales terminals that will take place. The largest merchants in the U.S. will be installing NFC terminals. Due to new regulations surrounding the introduction of EMV cards, in October of this year, retailers will be required to incur the liability from fraud if they are not NFC-capable. It is important to point out that almost all EMV-compliant payment terminals are also NFC-capable. This means most large retailers will be able to accept payments from mobile payment apps like Apple Pay and Google Wallet. These big box retailers represent 82 percent of the retail market, according to The US Department of Energy report.

Apple Pay will be largely responsible for the surge in mobile payments. iPhone 6 sales continue to beat expectations and Apple Pay use among iPhone 6 owners has risen since the device was released to the market. A recent survey discovered that 46 percent of iPhone 6 owners have used Apple Pay, up from 42 percent in March.

Ultimately, many small and medium sized retailers have not yet updated their sales terminals, but with major retailers accepting the technology, the market will be ready for NFC and mobile payments nonetheless. The fact that vending machines are now receiving this technology is a sign that many more consumers will start making mobile payments as part of their daily lives. 

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