USA Technologies (News - Alert), Inc. (USAT) has just revealed today that it entered into a new agreement with Ameri-Source (News - Alert), LLC. Under the conditions of the partnership, Ameri-Source will promote USAT's cashless payment solutions to its members.
USAT provides a variety of cashless technologies for small-ticket unattended retail markets. The Pennsylvania-based company has developed ePort, a device that can be hooked up to coin vending machines, allowing them to take credit or debit cards as payment. EnergyMiser enables vending machines to consume energy more efficiently instead of the normal 'always on' setting. USA Technologies' ePort Connect solution offers cashless and contactless payments as well as M2M reporting of sales and other data.
Ameri-Source, LLC is a purchasing organization for vending and food service companies. These companies, if left to their own devices, do not have the buying power to get the quantity discounts on their purchases that larger organizations do. For a nominal fee, such companies can sign up for a membership with Ameri-Source and get savings they would not have obtained otherwise.
Ameri-Source currently has about 475 member companies across the U.S. and will promote USA Technologies' ePort and ePort Connect cashless services to them for the next three years.
According to company officials, “Every day we witness how the consumer under 30, the traveler, the office worker-- just doesn’t carry cash anymore. Our members are going to have to change to keep up with these dynamics and, in our view, USAT offers an affordable way for them to do that.”
The agreement between USAT and Ameri-Source is acknowledgement that more consumers prefer to make purchases through cashless mechanisms such as ePort, even for items as inexpensive as soda from a vending machine. It would be a disservice to its members if Ameri-Source did not promote some kind of cashless solution to them.
With the increasing popularity of smartphones and payment systems like PayPal (News - Alert), the next question may be how long it will take for companies like USAT to support that technology. South Korean customers who commute on the transit system have the ability to purchase groceries from the HomePlus chain by looking at wallpaper mockups of store shelves with QR codes printed on them. If USAT could adapt that technology to vending machines first, it would put itself way ahead of the competition.
Edited by Jamie Epstein