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Multi-max’s K-Cup vending machines to integrate mobile paymentsBy
Vending machine manufacturer Multi-max will be integrating mobile commerce features into its line of K-Cup vending machines for mid-size and small offices.
Spindle is powering the mobile payments feature along with Cardis USA and ValidSoft. The vending machines will be available for businesses throughout the United States.
“This is the first of many mobile-enabled solutions that Spindle is undertaking,” said Bill Clark, CEO at Spindle, Scottsdale, AZ.
“Given the unique dynamics of office settings, and the distinct requirements of employer/employee-focused solutions, we felt this was an expedient way to get our mobile wallet into the market,” he said.
Multi-max is based in San Diego and provides vending machines, food and beverage products and back office systems for small- and medium-sized businesses.
Spindle is leveraging its MeNetwork360 platform to allow consumers to pay for the K-Cups via mobile.
Consumers will be able to download the wallet onto their smartphone or tablet so that when making a purchase at a Multi-max vending machine, the user can enter the payment information into the app to transact.
The business that hosts the vending machine can set the price and even subsidize it or make it free if they choose.
The platform also enables loyalty programs, mobile coupons, rebates and offers, and it helps consumers locate merchants. Adding these extra features to a mobile wallet can help convince consumers that the payment solution is more valuable than using a physical credit card.
The first integrated K-Cup machine is set to be ready in January. Spindle plans to expand from the K-Cup coffee machines to other Multi-max vending machines.
Cardis USA will enable consumer transactions at different retailers to be easily processed through one network, and ValidSoft will power the voice-based authentication technology in the solution.
As mobile payments slowly permeate the market, consumer adoption tends to be higher when the purchases are for lower-cost products and are repetitive.
Starbucks, for example, has been one of the most successful implementers of mobile payments.
Therefore, it makes sense that Spindle and Multi-max would work on a mobile payments solution for a K-Cup vending machine, which is a low-cost purchase that consumers repeat on a daily basis.
In the third-quarter of 2013, 10 percent of Starbucks in-store U.S. sales stemmed from mobile payments, and the company saw 100 percent growth year-over-year in dollars loaded on mobile cards (see story).
The next move for Spindle is expanding to traditional vending machines, which still most likely fits within the low-cost purchases that are more likely to attract mobile transactions. However, they may not see the same repeat purchasing habits as the coffee machines.
“Traditional vending systems, such as your typical drink and snack machines, may have to evolve a bit more before this concept will work well in those environments,” Mr. Clark said. “We do plan, however, to drive that evolution as well.”
Rebecca Borison is editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York
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