Start-up’s Series A funding means vending machines will be able to accept cards

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PayRange, a start-up that enables vending machines to accept credit and debit cards, as well as digital payments, has secured $12m in Series A funding led by Matrix Partners.

The company makes special plugs that fit into the vending machine that in turn interacts with a smartphone app. The plug uses Bluetooth to connect to the app on the vending machine, which means it can retrofitted to existing machines. It also means the vending machines will be Apple Pay compatible.

The idea of modernising the $45 billion a year vending machine industry makes perfect sense when one considers the fact most people prefer to pay by card or mobile rather than cash.

“Nearly half the time someone walks up to a machine with the intent to purchase, he or she leaves empty handed because the buyer simply doesn’t have the right change. This results in billions of dollars in sales lost each year,” said PayRange founder and CEO, Paresh Patel.

Nearly half of people in the UK make shopping purchases through mobiles. In the US, digital interactions influence 64 cents of every dollar spent in 2015.

All of this points to a clear sign that more and more people are migrating to digital methods of payments and use them for smaller and smaller transactions. It was only a matter of time before the technological revolution spread down to vending machines.

“The expectation of paying by cash and coin is particularly painful for the tens of millions of consumers who use vending machines as their work or school fridge,” Mr. Patel added.

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