Self-service technologies with unattended payments have become increasingly popular, largely because of the ease and convenience they bring to the customer purchasing experience. They’re also a factor in increased revenues. In fact, PYMNTS research has shown that adding cashless payment options to unattended retail units bringing in less than $2,000 per year can increase sales by 110%.
The pandemic made automated, self-service technology even more popular as consumers adjusted their purchasing behaviors by keeping social distancing and limited contact in mind. However, solutions leveraging unattended payments have been trending for some time. According to SOTI, 73% of consumers preferred self-service options pre-pandemic.
ISV and VAR Opportunities
Value-added resellers (VARs) and independent software vendors (ISVs) have the opportunity to help merchants implement the self-service technologies that deliver the experiences customers expect while growing business for your clients. Keep in mind, however, that implementing unattended payments solutions successfully means more than just transplanting countertop credit-card acceptance technology to a kiosk enclosure. Selecting the right hardware for high-volume use in harsh environments is key, but trusted advisors should also ask merchants about their objectives. Learn whether your clients are adding unattended payments to meet the demand for more convenient customer experiences or if their goals include looking for ways to automate routine tasks and optimize labor.
Matching the right solution to your merchant’s use case will not only show your added value as a service provider but help you build business relationships for the long term in verticals and niches, including:
1. Retail Vending
Retail self-service has evolved far beyond the days of soda, snack, and cigarette vending machines. Today’s automated self-service machines sell anything from electronics and champagne to cars and other vehicles. One machine in the Mall of Dubai spits out 24-karat gold in 320 different forms.
Keep in mind that, in addition to offering self-checkout, brick-and-mortar stores have the opportunity to leverage self-service machines for items that traditionally have been stored behind a check-out counter or on the floor inside a locked kiosk requiring an employee to open. Implementing a self-service unattended payments solution for these types of items inside a store brings a frictionless experience to the transaction, allowing consumers to save time and frustration.
According to The Future of Unattended Retail Report, more than half of all consumers reported that food and beverages accounted for their latest unattended purchases. This stat is good news for restaurateurs, who can see up to 30 percent more per order with self-service options when customers take their time and order exactly what they want without pressure from a long line behind them.
One of the leading contributing factors in unattended payments growth in hospitality is consumers’ increasing adoption of contactless payments. Self-service systems that accept mobile wallets or contactless cards minimize touch – an important factor in the post-COVID-19 era – and add even more speed and convenience to transactions.
The legal cannabis industry has grown phenomenally over the last decade, now with a value of $9.1 billion and forecast to reach a CAGR of nearly 27 percent through 2028. While this kind of growth would bring challenges with it for any industry, cannabis payments are largely cash-only, making managing these businesses even more complicated.
Several alternatives to cash-only cannabis payments have emerged, such as PIN debit-only solutions. Implementing this type of payment method can help cannabis businesses offer the payment experiences their customers prefer while reducing the risk of dangerous situations that can arise from having large amounts of cash on hand, including theft, shrinkage, and transporting large deposits.
4. EV Charging Stations
Electric vehicle (EV) sales are on the rise, expecting to reach nearly 30 percent of all new vehicle sales by 2030. Growing the national electric-vehicle charging network’s number of stations is necessary for consumers to be able to rely on these vehicles for traveling greater distances than their home charger will allow.
ISVs and VARs are positioned to help create a revenue-producing opportunity for merchants. Restaurants and retailers within centralized shopping centers can benefit from implementing charging stations with unattended payments that allow consumers to park and charge.
5. Ticketing at Theaters and Entertainment
Processing ticketing transactions rarely requires the help of a sales clerk. Implementing kiosks with unattended payments not only saves labor costs for a business but also saves movie-goers time. This convenience and efficiency for customers provide a better experience by removing long lines and friction from transactions.
Deliver Customer-Centric Solutions
Consumers always gravitate toward payment methods that feature speed, safety, and convenience. ISVs and VARs have the opportunity to enable merchants to implement solutions with unattended payments to capitalize on that demand. You can help them deliver the experiences their customers want and grow their businesses – and help you grow your business as well.