Why should you get a credit card reader for a vending machine?
Credit Card Readers for vending machines can increase vending machine sales by 50%. That right, 50%, because people will be more likely to buy multiple items.
Many older vending machines that are for sale do not have the capability to accept a credit or debit cards as payment, but there are many options to add a credit card reader to an old vending machine. Some credit card readers for vending machines require that the customer use an app, but there are others where only a swipe, chip read, or tap is necessary. A location may also require a credit card reader on a machine if they are getting a cut of the sales – a locator service may be able to help you find the right spot for your machine.
A vending machine locator would suggest you have a credit card reader on any vending machine that you place, as any business that uses your vending machine as a perk for their employees would want to make sure their employees are satisfied with the operation of the machine.
This review is of options of how to add a credit card readers for vending machines, and the companies that address this issue. Unfortunately, none of the vending machine credit card readers on the market today come with AI (artificial intelligence) software, so if you are looking to optimize your vending machine sales with AI, then you will need additional software. But they are compatible with ice cream vending machines, which and ice cream is almost as good as AI.
PayRange Dongle and App for Vending Machines
The first of the solutions is not really even a credit card reader, but a Bluetooth dongle and phone app. I discovered PayRange on a Facebook group for vending machines (I can’t remember which one – I’m in 7 of them) and I had trouble figuring out what it was.
After a quick Lougle, it seems that it really just a Bluetooth dongle that can plug into an old vending machine communication port, and then an app that your customers can use on their phone (with an account) to make a payment. This format is very interesting to me because it is not a traditional card reader in that there is another barrier to buying a item from a vending machine.
This could be an issue in the short run as PayRange would be most effective if it was on every vending machine or at least a very large number of vending machines, so that once you download the app, you could use it anytime you make a vending machine purchase.
The short term downside is that for someone who rarely uses a vending machine or the vending machine is highly specialized, an app is a major commitment. It makes more sense to download the app if you know that anytime you want to buy something from a vending machine in the future you will be able to use the app.
So, there seems to be incentive for PayRange to take a loss initially to get their dongles into as many vending machines as possible, so there is more incentive for a customer to install the app. Classic Network Effects. And with their current sale price of ~$18 (down from $180 – which I don’t understand how there could be that much of a price drop) it does seem like a no-brainer to add to a vending machine.
There is also a 3.25% USA (4.25% Canada) transaction fee on any purchase, so PayRange makes money that way to. Vending machines need to be on the MDB standard for plug and play compatibility, so the vending machine can be old, but not ancient.
Nayax VPOS Touch and Onyx Credit Card Readers for Vending Machines
Nayax was the second option I found through a vending machine Facebook group, and this company makes a true credit/debit card reader. They have two options for card readers for vending machines (and many others for other types of machines) – the VPOS Touch and the Onyx.
The VPOS Touch is super capable of accepting any payment type you can imagine – I didn’t see any crypto payments though (bitcoin is probably too slow, but ethereum or BNB might be feasible.) The Onyx looks to be about the same capability, except for that it lacks an easy to interact with touchscreen.
They have MDB and DEX connectivity so there is a high likelihood that it will work with your vending machine.
Being true card readers, the Nayax card readers are not limited by the same barrier as the PayRange – no need for an app with Nayax, so there is just the quick credit or debit card transaction that nearly all American consumers are familiar with.
They include telemetry systems (a.k.a. A phone connection to send credit card info/data over to process the transaction), but it is kind of unclear who pays for the telemetry connection – until you read the fine print.
You have to pay Nayax about $8 a month for the telemetry connection. So, it seems it may not be as clear cut to say that adding a vending machine credit card reader is more profitable for you, but chances are you’ll be pulling down way more than $8 a month from a vending machine – hopefully it’s in the hundreds of dollars.
At ~$300-400 for the VPOS Touch and Onyx systems, you may need to wait a few months to reap your investment in the credit card reader, but for a one time buy – it’s not so bad.
Cantaloupe/USA Technology G10-S ePort Card Reader for Vending Machines
This is technically a kit of a G10-S card reader and G-10 telemetry system. Basically all that means is that this unit is a bit bulky because it has separate housings for the card reader and telemetry that need to be connected by wires between the housings.
It also is a true card reader like the Nayax systems, but it does not have a touchscreen. However, it is cheaper than the Nayax card readers by about $50, so if you have a few vending machines you could save a bit to outfit them all with card readers if you go for the G-10S kit.
It has the same capabilities to read credit and debit cards as the Nayax, so really the main difference is do you want a touchscreen credit card reader? The G-10S is really a heavy lifter – it gets the job done without any fuss.
Any one, is better than none
It seems that if you’re just getting started in the vending machine industry and have bought an old vending machine and want to add a card reader, you couldn’t go wrong just trying out PayRange.
At ~$18 for PayRange vs. a few $100 for a Nayax or G-10S, the PayRange dongle is a low risk move to add some type of non-cash vending machine payment system to your line-up, especially if your locations are in office buildings or warehouses where you’re likely to have returning customers that wouldn’t mind downloading an app since they know they’ll use it daily.
If your location is in a high-non-recurring traffic area (like a stadium or movie theater), then it is probably worth it to pony up for the Nayax or G-10S.