Cashless Payments Gaining Traction in Vending Industry

As you’re making purchases at the grocery store, buying gas from your local station or grabbing a snack from the vending machine, what payment method do you typically reach for? According to a survey conducted by Gallup, most Americans find themselves turning towards their credit cards or mobile payments. With 21 percent of people ages 23 – 54 using cash in their day-to-day lives that leave 79 percent of all transactions are cashless payments. More people are gaining confidence with cashless payment systems due to the ability to make payments quickly.

Technology advances now allow people to pay by swiping a card or using their phone, so the demand for innovation in basic services has increased. Vending machines and micro markets are offering more ways to pay for items.  Mobile pay and smartphone apps allow customers to prepay an account so funds are always on file for easy payment transactions.

A study conducted by Harris Interactive, a market research company, found that 66 percent of Americans believe smartphone payments will eventually replace credit card payments; 61 percent say the same for cash. Security is one of the biggest factors discouraging some consumers from making the switch to mobile payment.

Using credit cards or a mobile payment option at a vending machine can be new for some users, but it doesn’t have to compromise security. At National Vending, we assure PCI compliant equipment and payment systems that keep your information safe.

Does your vending machine have a credit card or mobile payment capability? Call National Vending for assistance in evaluating your technology and refreshment service program.

Four Reasons you Should Make the Switch to Filtered Water

FilteredWaterWhen most people consider their office vending machines, not many take the time to think about the other refreshment services available. These other refreshment services consist of office coffee and water filtration. Last year the average American used 167 water bottles but only recycled 38. Help cut down on waste by considering the switch to a filtered water program for your employees.

Employee Health

Consider making the switch to help improve your employees health. Access to filtered water, both hot and cold, can play a key role in increasing the amount of water consumed by your employees. Substituting water for high calorie beverages can play an important role in weight loss which in turn can decrease health issues and be a cost saving factor for your company. Get into the spirit by creating a burst your thirst challenge where the person that drinks the most water over a period of time can win a prize.

Increase productivity

It might sound crazy to think that water consumption and productivity can go hand in hand, but research has found that dehydration can be linked to cognitive changes which can result in less productivity. So the next time you feel that 2 o’clock slump coming along, grab a glass of filtered water and see if you can feel a difference.

It doesn’t cost that much

No seriously, it doesn’t cost that much to add filtered water to your company. In fact most employers would reap the benefits of adding filtered water just by seeing an increase in productivity around the office. The recommended eight glasses of water a day can result in Americans spending roughly $1,400 on bottled water.  Not quite convinced? Contact us and we’d be happy to run the numbers based on your location and size. We can also ensure you’re getting the most out of your office coffee system and vending as well, both can play an important part in your office productivity and employee happiness.

Save the Earth

One of the biggest benefits is the service your company would be doing to the environment. By switching to a filtered water solution, your company could help decrease the amount of water bottles that fill up landfills. Not only do plastic bottles take anywhere from 450 – 1000 years to decompose naturally but if they are incinerated, they can produce toxic fumes which are harmful to the environment. Encourage your employees to make the switch to filtered water and better yet, provide water bottles branded with your company logo.

Show your employees you care about the environment and their well-being by making the switch today. Not only can filtered water be great for those looking to cut back on their calorie intake, but it can help benefit your office coffee system as well.

Why vending guarantee is important in your machine.

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Technological advances in vending machines have enabled consumers to purchase vended products using apps, debit and credit cards. We have also seen other advances inside the vending machines. We’ve all made trips to the vending machine to purchase a soda and chips only to have our selection fail to vend after we swipe our credit card. Frustrated, we think the machine charged our card so we make a call to the number on the machine looking for a refund. Or worse, someone shakes the machine in hopes of getting the product to drop, which can cause a lot of damage to the machine. But did you know up-to-date vending machines include a guaranteed vend delivery system?

Each vending machine has an infrared light sensor at the bottom of the machine. Each snack or drink passes through this infrared light as it is dispensed. If the snack or drink doesn’t break the beam of light, it will give the customer credit back to make another selection. This feature makes the customer experience more reliable and minimizes the need to call customer service or request a refund. Not sure if your machine has a guaranteed vend delivery system? Many machines will have a sticker indicating the presence of one; you may also see a message appear after selecting your product. If the machines is equipped with a guaranteed vend delivery system, a message typically pops up encouraging the consumer to make another selection or dispense a refund. Guaranteed vend delivery systems can take care of a problem before it starts. Who needs a frustrated customer?

If You Give a Mouse a Cookie….Trip through a Vending Machine

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It’s National Cookie Day and that means it’s the perfect excuse to visit Laura Numeroff’s classic, If You Give a Mouse a Cookie. Take a trip through the vending machine to see all the other things a mouse will need after his cookie!

As you know, if you give a mouse a cookie, he’ll ask you for some milk and then a straw. While in this case, the mouse will ask you to go to the Keurig coffee vending machine to grab a hot chocolate k-cup to wash down the cookie crumbs then he’ll need a napkin to wipe away all the crumbs. Then he’ll need to get some gum from the vending machine. After chewing the gum for a bit, he’ll realize that he’s hungry and he’ll need a snack. He’ll ask for some potato chips but after he opens the bag, he’ll ask you for some chocolate since he loves the sweet and salty combination. After the snack, he’ll get very full so he’ll probably ask for a blanket to rest, but before he can go to sleep, he’ll need a cold bottle of water.

When the mouse wakes up, he’ll realize that he’s full from all the food so he’ll probably ask you to take him on a walk. After the walk, he will be all sweaty, so he will ask you for a bath, but he’ll need some soap. He’ll ask for extra bubbles but make a mess so he’ll ask for a towel to clean it up. He will stand back and realize that the floor needs to be sweeped so he’ll as for a broom. Then he’ll clean the whole house, but when he gets to the kitchen he bumps into the jar of cookies. The cookies come crashing down. He’ll have to eat the cookies quick so they don’t go to waster. And chances are if you give him another cookie, he’ll ask to go back to the vending machine for another hot chocolate and another cookie to go with it!

Enjoy National Cookie Day for yourself and see where your adventure takes you! What type of cookie will you have to celebrate National Cookie Day?

Making Better Choices at the Vending Machine

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From candy bars to fresh apple slices, the options we get at vending machines today are as diversified as ever before. With the increasing trends in health and wellness among individuals nowadays, vendors are beginning to place healthier snack options in their machines. An article in the Des Moines Register the other day caught our eye. It was an interview with Janette Batts, a registered dietitian and license dietitian nutritionist with UnityPoint Health – Des Moines as she shared her tips on how to make healthier choices at a vending machine. We absolutely loved her notes and what she had to say about a lot of our favorite snacks, so we decided to put together a short list of tips to making these healthier choices.

Here are a few tips:

  1. Look out for snacks that have already been labelled as the “Healthier Choice”
  2. Make use of vending machines that provide you with nutritional information of the snacks they carry
  3. Stay away from foods with high trans-fats, MSG and added sugar
  4. Learn the names for different forms of sugar such as fructose, molasses, malt, sucrose
  5. Ingredients that you can’t pronounce can usually be avoided
  6. Use a Food App to get educated on the foods you consume – like MyFitnessPal
  7. Candy bars are great but everything needs to be done in moderation
  8. If you like snacking frequently, then plan for lighter meals and then have wholesome snacks in between

Here are also Janette’s list of Best & Worse snacks from Vending Machines and some other ideas for snacks to pack from home:

Healthier Picks at a Vending Machine

Best Snacks from the Vending Machine:

  • Original Baked SunChips
  • Special K Cracker Chips
  • BelVita Breakfast Biscuits
  • Nabisco Toasted Wheat Thins
  • Water
  • Aquafina FlavorSplash
  • Lipton Diet Green Tea
  • 100% Fruit Juices

Unhealthier Picks at a vending machine

Worst Snacks from the Vending Machine:

  • Frito-Lay Corn Chips
  • Grandma’s cookies
  • Skittles
  • Orange Crush
  • Starbucks Frappaccino
  • Whole Chocolate Milk

Snacks from Home

Healthy Snack Alternatives to bring from Home

  • Popcorn
  • String Cheese
  • Hard-cooked Egg
  • Peanut Butter on Whole-grain Crackers
  • Raw/Dark Coca powder-dusted Almonds (1 oz or 24nuts)
  • Milk
  • Nonfat Yogurt
  • Vegetables with Hummus or Greek Yogurt
  • Fruit
  • Peanut Butter on Whole-grain Tortilla