10 February 2017, Smart Machines
Rob Little of Vendman calls it ‘integration’, but Vianet Group MD Matt Lane describes the partnership between two of vending’s leading technology companies as ‘the creation of a new eco-system for vending operators.’
‘We’re both in the word of connectivity’, Matt said. ‘Vendman connects vending operators to machine data via had-held devices, Vianet does it by telemetry. It made sense for us to come together and forge a partnership.’
Vianet launched its PCI accredited contactless payment system against an evolving background of transaction fulfilment. Cashless is predicted to overtake ‘real money’ as the preferred payment method within five years and, as Matt says, ‘in the meantime, the costs associated with cash transactions will only increase.’
The partnership between Vendman and Vianet therefore seems to be a logical step along the way.
‘I was looking for a business that had a strong relationship with the vending industry and Vendman was looking for a reliable payment system that would allow them to strengthen its offer to operators’, Matt said. ‘The integration is driven by technology. Our modus operandi has been to provide information to operators on a weekly, or even a monthly basis but by integrating with Vendman we can create a brand-new ecosystem that allows operators to access information every day.’
Since the agreement between the two companies, which was signed in February, both sales teams have been working closely together, even making joint presentations to operators to explain the finer points of adopting ‘cashless’ and subsequently, how to manage the process.
‘The average operator sees a lot of ‘solutions’ out there and sometimes it’s hard to see the wood for the trees’, Matt said. ‘Vianet is simple, it’s in the machine and it’s cost efficient; but now we can integrate our system into the software that most of the UK vending industry relies on, it makes even more sense – it gets funds into the accounting system much more efficiently. A vending operator is – and I suspect always will be – cash rich and time poor. Of course they want to investigate margin enhancing add-ons, but they’re equally interested in making the day to day tasks of running a vending business run more smoothly. We’re now in a position to help them achieve that goal and consequently free more time for them to evaluate and perhaps apply more elaborate concepts to enhance their operations.’
‘The partnership with Vianet will be a boon for operators because it takes a lot of the stress out of cashless trading’, Vendman MD Rob Little said. ‘Rather than having to reconcile fiscal data from different sources, the integration of Vianet into Vendman means that an operator receives cashless income via Vendman, which means that it can be allocated to individual machines. It means that data about sales, such as the performance of individual products and the profitability of each machine can be accessed in exactly the same way as it is for cash sales.’
The Vendman / Vianet system is currently rolling-out through Vendman’s customer base.