According to a recent study by market research firm Harris Interactive, vending machines lose 20% to 30% of potential sales when customers cannot quickly buy their favorite snacks and drinks.
The study further states that there are three key issues which prevent consumers from using vending machines: incorrect or lack of change, reluctance to put large bills into a machine, and machines not accepting credit or debit cards.
Calgary’s PayLab Networks is out to change that by providing consumers the ability to connect to vending machines and make purchases using their smartphones. The startup has developed a small touchscreen device, in partnership with researchers at SAIT Polytechnic, that can be installed into almost any existing vending machine so consumers can simply download the app, wave it in front of the touchscreen, and buy their chosen product.
“For startups, even the most basic development of hardware solutions can be difficult,” explains PayLab cofounder and CEO, Mike Gron. “The work we are doing with SAIT will allow us to move forward and demonstrate to the industry that we have a real and tangible piece of technology that can have a significant effect on the way they do business going forward.”
The coin-operated industry is sure to be revolutionized as PayLab anticipates their point-of-sale devices will start being installed on vending machines in early 2014.