According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it is possible for a person to contract COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose or their eyes. Potentially contaminated surfaces and objects that pose as infection risks include dollar bills and coins.
When it comes to the potential spread of COVID-19 through currency, some countries are taking an aggressive approach to reducing the risk of currency spreading COVID-19. China, for example, has been quarantining the country’s cash. The government collected banknotes and then sanitized the stacks of bills. From there, the currency was kept in isolation for 7-14 days before being released into the banking system.
While the United States has taken similar measures on currency that has come from Asia, steps such as those taken in China have not been taken on a widespread basis in the US. Even so, as consumer behavior changes in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we expect to see an acceleration in the already growing trend of cashless as consumers’ payment preference of choice in vending.
Recognizing the risk of COVID-19 exposure through surfaces and objects, many operators are being proactive in reducing the risk to consumers by ensuring their vending equipment is cleaned and sanitized on a more frequent basis and updating their fleets with cashless card readers.
“We see the cashless payment trend increasing, even while the crisis is happening, with a shift towards the use of contactless transactions. The ability to offer cashless payment capabilities encourages consumer confidence,” said Carly Furman, CEO of Nayax LLC.
While the COVID-19 crisis is sure to bring unseen changes to the convenience services industry, we believe there is an underlying, long-term opportunity for operators. The current crisis may increase the growing share of cashless transactions in vending, resulting in increasing operators’ profits. In fact, in a study done of 250,000 machines over an 18-month period, the number of total transactions increased by 26% on machines that allow for cashless payments.
According to the same study, there is a 37% increase in dollar spend when customers pay with a card versus cash. Customers are more inclined to purchase more than one item from the machine, simply because it is so easy to swipe their card. Although mobile payments only account for 5-7% of payments, that number is estimated to grow during and after the COVID-19 pandemic, as people are looking to move away from making contact payments, such as cash. Apple Pay and Google Pay use near-field communication (NFC) to power contactless payments. With NFC, consumers simply tap their phone to a compatible terminal such as a Greenlite device and the transaction is complete
This is an unprecedented time for all of us, meaning that we have to adjust to the way we live our lives and operate our businesses. Adding a cashless card reader, such as Greenlite ensures you will not miss out on a sale due to payment acceptance limitations while providing a safe, contactless payment option for consumers. It also keeps you safe by providing you with access to inventory reports, maximizing machine fulfillment when it is needed.
For any questions regarding safe practices for your vending business or information about your vending equipment, contact Federal Machine at 1-800-247-2446.