To Tap or Swipe…That is the Vending Question

by MEI Senior Vending Product Manager
MEI Senior Vending Product Manager
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on May 17, 2011 in Cashless | 0 Comments

Contactless payment in a wide range of self-service retail applications is catching on, but how quickly? A representative of USA Technologies recently predicted contactless dominance in all retail venues, including vending, within just two years. That’s a pretty big statement, considering that the majority of cards in people’s wallets today have a mag stripe…and those people are not yet familiar with tapping. It has taken Americans over a decade to really embrace “swiping” and feel comfortable with the security of this type of payment method. We think a safer bet is the growth of contactless mobile payment, especially considering the fact that most people today carry a mobile device. This is where the opportunity for contactless payment growth lies, yet even so, it may be still too early to make any certain predictions.

Here are two different contactless technology options:

  1. RFID – with this method, a RFID sticker is applied directly to the mobile device, and can be waved in front of the contactless payment bezel just like a contactless card.
  2. Application – with this alternative method, an application is downloaded to the phone that enables the contactless payment through the cloud. This is the less expensive, more convenient method but one that is most foreign to consumers.

The question remains: will consumers accept either method as secure? Only time will tell. To hear more on this topic, tune in to VendingMarketWatch.com’s latest AudioConnect podcast, “MEI’s Bob Martin Examines Vending Payment Options”http://www.vendingmarketwatch.com/podcast/ or Ask the Experts here at MEI.