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Vending Machines – A Controlled, Safe Method to Provide Food and Beverages to Consumers – Part 4

April 20th, 2020 | Posted by Lindsay Hottovy in Vending machines - (Comments Off on Vending Machines – A Controlled, Safe Method to Provide Food and Beverages to Consumers – Part 4)

Reducing COVID-19 Exposure Risk with Contactless Payments

Previously, we delved into why vending is the ultimate solution in the convenience services industry in Part I, finding the right product to keep your vending machines disinfected and safe for your customers to use in Part II and best practices to properly clean your machine in Part III. In this final installment, we will focus on why cashless payment options are more important now than ever before.

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 eVending at 1-800-530-9592.

Vending Machines – A Controlled, Safe Method to Provide Food and Beverages to Consumers – Part III

April 13th, 2020 | Posted by Lindsay Hottovy in Vending machine - (Comments Off on Vending Machines – A Controlled, Safe Method to Provide Food and Beverages to Consumers – Part III)

Best Practices for Cleaning and Disinfecting Vending Machines

Previously, we delved into why vending is the ultimate solution in the convenience services industry in Part I and finding the right product to keep your vending machines disinfected and safe for your customers to use in Part II. Part III of our four part series will provide best practices to properly clean your machine, without causing damage to the equipment.

While eVending recommends soapy water for cleaning and disinfecting vending equipment, the choice is up to you.  Regardless of what type of cleaner you choose, here are some Best Practices for Cleaning Vending Equipment.

  • Recommended supplies:
    • Disposable non-linting cloths (‘contact’, ‘non-contact’ & ‘external’)
    • Clean disposable gloves
    • Plastic scraper
    • Spray bottle w/ cleaning solution
    • Glass cleaner or similar for cleaning the window
  • Ensure the machine is Switched OFF before completing any cleaning tasks.
  • Do not apply or spray the soapy water solution directly onto surfaces that could or might leak directly onto electrical components such as the keypad or touch screen.  Where this is a possibility the soapy water should be applied to a ‘clean’ cloth which then should be used to wipe the surface to be sanitized.

Why do I need three separate cleaning cloths?  The ‘contact’ cloth should be used on areas of the machine that come into contact with areas of consumer interaction.  The ‘non-contact’ cloth should be used on internal areas of the machine. The ‘external’ cloth should be used on all external surfaces with the exception of areas of the machine that are exposed to consumer interactions.

Some Do’s and Don’ts:

  • Do not use metal scrapers
  • Do not put any of the machine’s internal parts on the floor
  • Do not take water for cleaning from a toilet area
  • Always wear protective gloves
  • Always use the correct cleaning agent for the application and follow the manufacturer’s instructions

In many grocery and retail stores, it is commonplace to see self-serve sanitizing wipes for customers to use.  To help ensure your equipment stays clean and provide peace of mind to consumers, if possible, provide sanitizing wipes at or near your equipment. 

As with all individuals working in convenience services in a food-handling role, an operator who is suffering any form of illness should inform their supervisor and not perform any work sanitizing the vending equipment. 

Safe sanitation is crucial now more than ever for your vending equipment. For more information on best practices to sanitize your vending equipment or other equipment questions, please contact eVending at 1-888-485-1167.

With consumers using cashless often due to sanitary concerns, Part IV focuses on why cashless payment options are more important than ever. Check back soon to view Part IV.

Vending Machines – A Controlled, Safe Method to Provide Food and Beverages to Consumers – Part II

April 6th, 2020 | Posted by Lindsay Hottovy in Vending machine - (Comments Off on Vending Machines – A Controlled, Safe Method to Provide Food and Beverages to Consumers – Part II)

Part II – What Products Are Recommended to Safely Clean and Disinfect Vending Equipment?

Previously, we delved into why vending is the ultimate solution in the convenience services industry in Part I.  Part II of our four-part series will provide guidance on finding the right cleaning agent to keep your vending equipment disinfected and safe for your customers to use.

As communicated by the European Vending Association, even with the secured product control offered by vending, it is extremely important to clean and disinfect vending equipment often, especially considering the current health crisis due to COVID-19.  Fortunately, the cleaning and disinfecting process for vending equipment is easy and cost-effective. All components on vending equipment, including electronics, keypads, plastic surfaces, and glass surfaces, can be effectively cleaned and disinfected with warm, mild soapy water.

Why is soap so effective against bacteria and viruses, such as the Coronavirus?  Soap is comprised of two-sided molecules. One side is attracted to water; the other side is attracted to fat. Viruses, such as the Coronavirus, are comprised of material surrounded by a coating of proteins and fat. When viruses interact with soap, the soap molecules rip that fat coating out. Soap literally demolishes viruses in as little as 20 seconds.  To learn more about why soap is eVending’s preferred cleaning and disinfectant agent, check out National Geographic’s article Why soap is preferable to bleach in the fight against the coronavirus.

There are commercial-grade cleaning and disinfectant options such as Kay 5 Chlorinating Sanitizer, which is highly effective against bacteria and fungus, and is used primarily for kitchen equipment, soft serve and shake machines and kitchen utensils.  Another option is PURELL® Foodservice Surface Sanitizer, an EPA registered multi-surface sanitizer/disinfectant approved for use on food-contact surfaces with no-rinse required and is currently registered in all 50 states.

If you choose to use a commercial-grade product, follow the manufacturer’s instructions for application and proper ventilation. Never mix these products with ammonia or any other cleanser. Also, check to ensure the product is not past its expiration date.  Expired products will likely not be as effective against coronaviruses. You can view all EPA approved disinfectants against SARS-CoV-2, the novel coronavirus that causes the disease COVID-19 HERE.

For more information on best practices to sanitize your vending equipment or other equipment questions, please contact eVending at 800-944-5524. 

How should you go about cleaning your vending machine? Check back later to find out in Part III.