Cash vs Contactless: The Shift in Vending Consumerism, accelerated by COVID-19

22 July 2020, Contactless Payment

In the last few years, innovation in contactless technology and corresponding growth in consumer adoption, has grown steadily in momentum towards a time in the near future when the majority of vending machines may only take contactless payment.  That was in a world before Covid-19, and as anticipated, the pandemic has only accelerated the decline in the use of cash.

COVID Contactless Vending Stats

Vianet provides an innovative end to end contactless payment solution for automated retail, vending and self-service machines.  Whilst contactless payment offers consumers a clean, flexible and low risk payment option, the benefit for vendors of utilising this technology cannot be understated given that machines equipped with contactless payment regularly experience increased sales, with corresponding growth in machine profitability and significant improvement in operating cashflow.

Vianet’s Customer Experience team recently carried out a study of data from a selection of their customers who have contactless payment devices on their vending machines. This data was taken from the very beginning of 2020 and moving into the pandemic until the end of June.

In Vianet’s estate, January 2020 saw on average 50% of vending machine transactions were contactless, with an up to 30% up lift in overall sales since these operators installed contactless readers on their vending machines.

In the past 6 months, these figures continued to rise on vending machines that were still actively being used throughout the pandemic, showing a sharp rise in May with up to 65% of vending transactions coming from contactless payment devices and this continued throughout June. This accelerated increase of up to 15% in such a short space of time really does illustrate the shift in consumer behaviour as the pandemic has progressed.


Although the self service industry is still experiencing some limitations and safety concerns amid the pandemic, early signs show that these consumer adoptions are likely to continue to progress as consumers change their habits and thought process when it comes down to payment options with a longer-term view.  A recent Mastercard study showed that 74% of card users said they would continue to use contactless payment post-pandemic.


Head of Customer Experience at Vianet, Jo Vinton-Bullwinkel said “The data we’ve acquired shows promising signs for our customers utilising contactless payment devices, and it shows that they are in good stead for the future with imminent changes taking place in consumerism. For those vending and self-service operators still utilising cash only machines, time is really of the essence to ensure business is secure moving forward. Offering contactless payment is becoming a necessity, and vital to staying afloat in an evolving industry.”


Interested to find out more about how Vianet’s Contactless and Insight solutions can drive your vending business forward and help you increase revenue? Speak to us today


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