Shop Talk: USA Technologies wants to take vending machines coinless - Technical.ly Philly

Dev

May 20, 2009 1:58 pm

Shop Talk: USA Technologies wants to take vending machines coinless

Have a pocketful of pennies and a hankering for a soda? Good luck. Malvern-based USA Technologies (USAT) wants you to be able to pay with plastic or with a swipe of a cell phone at the vending machine. The company, which manufactures payment systems that let consumers purchase goods with cards instead of cash, may […]

USA Technologies ePort cashless terminals let consumers pay at vending machines with credit cards and RFID or Near Field Communication technologies. Photo courtesty of USAT.

Have a pocketful of pennies and a hankering for a soda? Good luck.

Malvern-based USA Technologies (USAT) wants you to be able to pay with plastic or with a swipe of a cell phone at the vending machine.

The company, which manufactures payment systems that let consumers purchase goods with cards instead of cash, may be the next vending machine technology superstar you’ve never heard of.

Turns out USAT is a leader in the wireless, cashless payment market.

“This little Malvern company that’s in its infancy has a 90 percent market share,” USAT Chairman and CEO George Jensen tells Technically Philly.

USAT ranked sixth in the nation for the totality of point of sale terminals by consumer payment system research publication The Nilson Report, behind companies like VeriFone and Motorola, who Jensen says aren’t in the same cashless space as USAT.

“We strongly believe we’re the only company in the world that has a complete turn-key program that takes all forms of cashless, where the machines are wirelessly networked together,” he says.

The company sells its cashless ePort terminals, pictured above, in a variety of formats. Whether retailers are looking for a traditional magnetic-stripe card reader, RFID-powered contactless payment system, or a Near Field Communication (NFC) system (which lets users deduct payments from their banking accounts by swiping a cell phone), USAT has them covered. All of the devices let retailers control prices and monitor sales wirelessly through a service provided by the company.

The company’s G8 ePort terminal is mag-stripe-, RFID- and NFC-ready for $329. Its Edge terminal, which only includes a simple card swipe, runs for $199. Both terminals, along with most of USAT’s cashless products, include wireless connectivity over GSM cellular networks.

No matter the solution, installation is a breeze, and the company’s payment technology can be up and running “in 10 minutes,” Jensen says.

USAT boasts credit-card partners like MasterCard, Visa and Discover, and mobile networks AT&T and Rogers Wireless, just a smattering of the 500 partners and nearly 50,000 terminals using the company’s technology.

Consumers are expected to use less cash and more plastic at retail locations, according to The Nilson Report.

The company runs six million transactions per quarter, and is hoping to continue tapping into the $240 billion small ticket retail market that includes parking, laundry, gaming, and other industries.

Advertisement

Last year, MasterCard purchased close to 20,000 USAT systems and handed them out to customers like Coca-Cola. Jensen hopes, based on industry trends, that that is just the beginning.

“It was MasterCard that gave McDonald’s $5 million in free [cashless] hardware. After McDonalds, the entire fast food industry followed. A $100 billion industry went cashless,” he says.

“They’re hoping to tip the vending industry, which is the last and largest remaining cash business.”

Since the deployment, USAT’s revenue increased to $16.1 million in 2008 from $9.2 million in 2007; a 75 percent increase.

It has major customers, too.

Sony, Aramark, PepsiCo and Coca-Cola, Bank of America, Pfizer, Bed Bath & Beyond, and more have signed on to use the technology.

In February, USAT announced that the company’s ePort cashless payment technology is being used on self-serve Starbucks coffee brewing machines being installed in offices.

“After 5 years of R&D with Starbucks, we’re rolling out their initiative for taking the brand out of their store. It’s 100 percent credit card, 100 percent us. For them to pick us speaks volumes,” he says.

Starbucks chose the company’s flagship product, he says, a RFID-powered contactless payment system coupled with a traditional magstripe credit card reader. Jensen says that of the 60-70,000 contactless payment systems installed in the U.S., about half of them are USAT’s.

If it isn’t Moore’s law that is helping the business the cashless technology has dropped in price to $199 from $1,900 just seven years ago than it’s the acceptance of plastic as a consumer payment method.

According to a report by The Nilson Report, debit cards are expected to surpass cash as a preferred method of payment by 2012.

“There’s a whole new generation coming up and thats what they want to do. They do not think twice,” Jensen said.

Every Wednesday, Shop Talk shows you what goes into a tech product, organization or business in the Philadelphia region. See others here.

-30-
Brian James Kirk

Brian James Kirk is Business Director and a cofounder of Technically Media, the publisher of Technical.ly and Generocity. Kirk handles sales, marketing and product development, forging new partnerships, building brand identity and coordinating events and projects. He produces the Philadelphia bike community event Bikeout and lives in the Callowhill neighborhood of Philadelphia.

  • Pingback: Technically Philly » Links: Alex Hillman and Kelly Lee spar, the Baltimore tech scene and More | Covering the Community of People Who Use Technology in Philadelphia.()

  • I had stopped by the site and took a look at your ranking for some of your terms and just wondered if you’d be at all interested in having your site improved in terms of where it’s ranked on the major engines, Google Yahoo etc. with the terms you’d like as well as some I’d like to suggest. I can get your site on page 1 and have done so for about 283 people to date. Yes, I’m a real person, Yes, I actually just came back from viewing your site. I already know you get a ton of offers day to day. This is obviously different, I have plenty of references, work from home alone, have been doing this since 92 and still find time to raise 3 little girls.

    Call me at home if you want to, I work at home all day long helping people out with their traffic and sites, automating page content updates via rss feeds (google loves that), doing press releases, article creation and distribution, building one way inbound links, graphic and site design, I can even add (by the thousands) targeted social media followers (like twitter) to your account all day long, automating messeges you want to send out to them about your site. Posting ads on top various high traffic classified ad sites various cities, states etc. I have clients that are swearing by what it is I do for them and would love to show you some examples if you’re at all interested.

    Winston
    312.204.7203

  • Hello Friend, 
    I just visited your website and wanted to let you know how to save $120 on your Satellite TV for your Bar or Restaurant. 
    The Dish Network has great deals going now for the Holiday season.
    Please Go Here and fill out the form below for more info.
    Thanks
    Darin Delia
    Dish Business TV Representative

  • Hello restaurant owner. Love the website!! I wanted to let you know you can advertise to you local area within 5, 10 or 15 miles out from your location.

    You have 2 options:

    1. Data Purchase: you can purchase your opt-in list with 20 fields of information. This list is permission passed and has all the opt-in info needed for you to mail as a third party user. Market your restaurant to 20,000, 50,000 or even 200,000 consumers names with a 15 miles radius.

    2. Email marketing: We send out a daily flyer or offer to the above people. Its $100 per day to start, we handle the deployment for you.

    Cost Structure Below for Data Purchase and email Campaigns.
    Your Local Zip (up to 20,000 names)…….. $100.00
    Multiple Zips up to (50,000 names)………….. $150.00
    Whole City (200K plus names)…………………$225.00

    Contact me for more info

    Darin Delia
    Delia Local Advertising
    561-596-4330

  • I represent a concrete floor repair product called RAPID RESTORE. It is not an epoxy and sets up to traffic in 15 minutes. It is among the easiest repair products to install on the market. We are always looking to help businesses keep their floors safe and productive. I am hoping to contact the person responsible for maintaining your floors. I thought this may be better then sales calls. Usually we work with the Plant Mgr., Safety Mgr., Facilities or Maintenance Mgr. Any help you could provide from forwarding my information or sending me the contact person and contact number would be greatly appreciated.

    More information is available through our website http://www.rapidconcrete.net

    Thanks and I hope you can help.

  • ,

    Please take a look at what we do and contact us.

    http://www.safeairtesting.com

  • Great post, honest PS See my link to fix your PC

    http://regcleanervista.com

Advertisement

Sign-up for regular updates from Technical.ly