Apple Pay has gained another consumer touchpoint, this time in the form of vending machines.
Cashless payment services company USA Technologies has inked a deal with Apple to bring support for Apple Pay to more than 200,000 self-service machines across the US.
USA Technologies' ePort Connect service targets small-ticket, automated retailing industries. It handles all elements of transaction processing, and enables self-service terminals to accept both traditional magnetic stripe and contactless forms of payment. Beyond vending machines, it provides payment muscle to other self-serve retailing applications such as coffee brewers, kiosks, laundry equipment and parking pay stations.
"Our customers are excited to accept Apple Pay at the self-serve locations they operate," Stephen Herbert, chairman and chief executive of USA Technologies, said in a statement. "We anticipate that the millions of consumers who frequent these locations will appreciate the convenience and security of using Apple Pay for their everyday purchases, and we believe that Apple Pay will help to drive additional sales for our customers.
The Apple Pay partnership is not the first its kind for USA Technologies, as the company has been focused on the mobile payments market for nearly 10 years. Long before Apple Pay, the company teamed up with Masterard and Visa when they rolled out payWave, and also with Softcard (when they went by their former name, Isis), to bring mobile wallet integration to a fleet of self-service terminals.
Yet despite the best efforts of other mobile wallet and payment providers, the barely four-month-old Apple Pay now receives the bulk of the spotlight ... because, Apple. But that doesn't mean all bad things for the other providers, as many credit Apple Pay with being the tipping point for widespread mobile payment adoption that the rest of industry has been waiting for.
As for consumers, having Apple Pay accepted at something as ubiquitous as a vending machine could be just one more use case to convince them that mobile payments are a legitimate convenience.