To that end, Parlevel Systems, a San Antonio, TX-based high-tech company, has conducted a study of its vending operator customers who now use the year-old Parlevel Pay system. "We combined the study's results with general information from around the Web to create an infographic on the positives of adopting cashless readers," said Christopher Blomquist, Parlevel's marketing content manager.
For the increasing population of consumers who don't carry cash, the ability to use cashless payment media is essential to getting their business, the Parlevel executive emphasized. "In fact, American adults under 30 dislike using cash so much that 51% of them use credit or debit cards for purchases -- even for transactions under $5 (the price point where vending lives)," Blomquist noted.
"We know that accepting cashless payments is a must to appeal to younger Americans, but what are the tangible benefits of installing a vending card reader?" he continued. "Operators who embrace cashless have average ticket transactions of $1.60 -- that's nearly 40¢ higher than their cash counterparts." The reason, he suggested, is that patrons don't feel the same "pain of spending" when they use cards.
"Net sales increases from cashless amount to an average machine collection of $128 every time a machine is serviced -- nearly $40 more than machines without cashless capabilities," Blomquist reported.
In a study of machines equipped with Parlevel Pay cashless readers in San Antonio, average machine sales per service increased 42% when a vending card reader was installed, Blomquist added. Of that, cashless payments accounted for 32%, while 10% of the increase was attributable to higher cash sales.
"Amazingly, cashless did not cannibalize cash sales, but rather increased them," he noted. "Since there are now more ways to pay at the machine, more people are using the vending machine -- whether they have cash or not, they know the machine will accommodate them." This part of the study suggests that cashless technology can enhance consumer perception of vender reliability, thus attracting more skittish patrons.
The study also indicated that average transaction value is higher for purchases made with a cashless medium. The average cashless sale was $1.60, compared with a $1.21 average cash transaction.
These sales increases should make any vending operator who has been putting off the decision to adopt cashless payment acceptance think seriously about taking the next step, the Parlevel executive pointed out. The recent study cast additional light on getting started. "It's important to prioritize which machines would benefit from cashless the most, in order to speed up return on investment," Blomquist observed. "Locations that are frequented by younger consumers, and [transient] areas, are the best bets for rapid cashless success. Schools, offices, hospitals, hotels and airports are some of the areas where cashless performs the best."
As for the "how," Blomquist urged operators to consider the fast-changing noncash payment environment. "Not all cashless readers are created equal," he noted. "As 'mobile wallets' like Apple Pay and Android Pay become more commonplace, it is important for cashless readers to accept more than just credit and debit cards."
Another benefit of a good cashless payment system is reduced cash handling -- transporting, sorting, counting, bagging and banking -- which saves money and lessens risk. Moreover, a state-of-the-art cashless option allows the operator to make full use of modern vending equipment's ability to encourage customers to purchase multiple items with a single payment.
Parlevel Pay accepts credit, debit, campus and loyalty cards, along with customer "wallets" and mobile payments like Apple Pay and Android Pay, at vending machines and micromarkets.