I often find myself wanting to grab a quick snack or soft-drink while I’m at work, but I don’t frequently carry cash. If I want that snack break I have to hop in my car and drive to a convenience store and use my card to buy my sweets. More often than not, I just head to the drinking fountain and fill my bottle with water rather than making the trip to get a soda.
Credit card equipped vending machines aren’t that common in the US, and generally speaking, we can’t buy our goodies with our phones like some in other countries can. That’s about to change, if Cantaloupe has their way!
Cantaloupe is a San Francisco-based company that provides technical services for vending machine operators. They’re deploying a Google Wallet-based NFC payment terminal on vending machines in San Francisco, Chicago, and the mid-Atlantic region.
It’s not a huge number of machines. Of the six million vending machines around the country, Cantaloupe has only 80,000 in their network, and only 6,000 of those have the NFC bezel installed. It’s a start.