Beacon tech firm Netclearance has launched the mBeaconVend, which enables vending machines to accept payments from a mobile wallet.
According to the Automatic Vending Association, there are over 462,000 vending machines in the UK, dispensing 6bn items each, with an annual turnover of around £1.65bn. But three out of every four vending machine transactions are still cash-based, compared to just 21 per cent of all transactions in UK shops.
“The vending machine industry has been slow to capitalise on the growing cashless economy in the UK, with the vast majority of machines still relying on cash-only transactions,” said Jonathan Duffy, EMEA executive director at Netclearance. Mobile payments are both attractive and safe for consumers and have the power to revolutionise the purchasing experience, making payments more convenient and quick.”
The mBeaconVend is based on Netclearance’s mobile payment solution, mBeaconPay. Using a customised mobile app, customers wave their mobile device over the smart beacon to be shown the purchase amount, before confirming the payment on screen. The smart beacon supports a range of mobile phone platforms regardless of make, model or operating system.
mBeaconVend integrates with existing vending machine multi-drop bus (MDB) technology, making it relatively easy to swap out the existing coin box on machines with the smart beacon. It is compatible with popular beacon profiles such as iBeacon or Eddystone .
The device joins Netclearance’s portfolio of IoT gateways, including mBeaconSense, the mBeaconCard smart badge and mBeaconPay. All Netclearance solutions use low-power wireless technology and feature open server APIs, mobile SDKs, and advanced analytics capabilities.