Everything Everywhere and Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN) have announced a partnership to bring M2M connectivity to the vending machine market, offering the promise of increased revenues and reduced costs through remote stock monitoring, increased customer interaction and multiple payment methods.
Vending machines will be linked to NSN’s VendMe application and installed with Everything Everywhere SIM cards, connecting them to the UK’s largest 3G network and France Telecom and Deutsche Telekom’s international footprint.
The connectivity will allow vendors to monitor stock levels remotely and plan efficient replenishing of machines without the need to make site visits. Vendors will also have access to new ways to engage potential customers, through sending targeted messages to those people in the vicinity of a smart vending machine, and even interacting with customers and their contacts through their social networks of choice.
Once customers are at a smart vending machine, they will not need cash to make a purchase, but can take advantage of Near Field Communications (NFC) technology, through Orange Quick Tap from Everything Everywhere, or NFC-enabled cards. Contactless payments are also possible through Reverse SMS and Chip & Pin. The smart vending machines will be piloted during summer, with commercial roll-out expected to take place later this year. There are currently around half a million vending machines in the UK alone.
“Vending is just one of many areas where we are offering innovative services outside the traditional telecoms remit,” says Marc Overton, vice president, Wholesale and M2M at Everything Everywhere. “There is great potential for M2M technologies to provide companies operating internationally in all sectors with instant access to data, making businesses run better and improving the customer experience.
“In Nokia Siemens Networks, we have a global partner that shares our focus on developing cloud-based applications to address the needs of all markets and customers, however far they may sit outside the traditional telecoms space.”