BACK

Innovations and Payment Systems

Use your credit card for small purchases in vending machines

Summary

Vending machines increasingly accept credit cards, making small purchases easy. Read more at CreditCards.com.

The editorial content below is based solely on the objective assessment of our writers and is not driven by advertising dollars. However, we may receive compensation when you click on links to products from our partners. Learn more about our advertising policy.

The content on this page is accurate as of the posting date; however, some of the offers mentioned may have expired. Please see the bank’s website for the most current version of card offers; and please review our list of best credit cards, or use our CardMatch™ tool to find cards matched to your needs.

With more vending machines accepting payment by credit card and debit card, consumers are less likely to go digging in their pockets for loose change when they get the urge for something sweet.

Compare Low Interest Credit CardsWhile customers may appreciate the time saved by not counting change when they buy a soda, vending machine distributors see credit card payments as a way to increase sales volumes.  By accepting a preferred method of payment, vending machines are able to rack up higher sales.

Data from Automatic Merchandiser Magazine showed that the number of vending machines that take plastic increased to 3.2 percent of machines from 2 percent of machines from 2004 to 2005.

And as the number of machines that accept credit cards and debit cards grows, a larger number of consumers are opting to skip cash payments for small items.  Global research firm Ipsos found that over 67 million U.S. shoppers paid for purchases of $5 or less by credit card or debit card during a 30-day period in November 2006.

Meanwhile, the increase in cashless vending systems may be due in part to vending machines being stocked with items that are more expensive than a basic can of soda, notes the editor of trade publication Vending Times.  The greater number of merchandise such as energy drinks and boutique sodas, as well as large bottles, represent more money for distributors.

Since any credit card swipe adds about 10 cents to the cost of a transaction, the editor of Vending Times said that the rise of more expensive products has made it more economically feasible for operators to install debit card and credit card chargers.

Sales research from USA Technologies, which develops such payment options for vending firms, consumers spend 32 percent more per vending purchase with credit cards and debit cards than with cash and coin transactions.

Additionally, data from 1,100 vending machines between July 2006 and September 2006 showed that the more expensive an item, the greater the use of credit cards and debit cards.

Of course, the use of credit cards and debit cards also means that vending machines won’t miss out on a sale when the machine won’t take a somewhat crumpled dollar bill.

What’s up next?

In Innovations and Payment Systems

Merchants encourage use of PINs for debit card payments

Merchants encourage PIN numbers in debit card transactions due to lower fees. Read more at CreditCards.com

Published: May 14, 2007

See more stories
Credit Card Rate Report Updated: November 13th, 2019
Business
15.14%
Airline
16.97%
Cash Back
17.16%
Reward
17.01%
Student
17.23%

Questions or comments?

Contact us

Editorial corrections policies

Learn more

Join the Discussion

We encourage an active and insightful conversation among our users. Please help us keep our community civil and respectful. For your safety, do not disclose confidential or personal information such as bank account numbers or social security numbers. Anything you post may be disclosed, published, transmitted or reused.

The editorial content on CreditCards.com is not sponsored by any bank or credit card issuer. The journalists in the editorial department are separate from the company’s business operations. The comments posted below are not provided, reviewed or approved by any company mentioned in our editorial content. Additionally, any companies mentioned in the content do not assume responsibility to ensure that all posts and/or questions are answered.