By Stefanie Wallace
Nov. 1, 2012 – An onslaught of new innovation and products made headlines in vending and OCS news this week. Canadian Vending & Office Coffee Service magazine's web editor Stefanie Wallace recaps what caught her eye.
Nov. 1, 2012 – An onslaught of new innovation and products made headlines in vending and OCS news this week – which, I suppose, isn't much different than any other week lately.
Interac Flash cards are now being accepted at Tim Hortons restaurants in Canada. These new cards use a quick-touch wireless reader rather than a chip or swipe strip. The Financial Post reported that Tim Hortons expects to have more than 3,000 locations equipped with the technology by the end of the year. Other chains like Indigo, Cineplex and Esso will be joining the movement too, but not until sometime next year.
I had the opportunity to see how Interac Flash works on a vending machine at the CAMA Expo this year. It’s certainly innovative and a draw to those who would rather use a debit card at a vending machine over digging for change, and it’s even quicker than using a traditional debit card. But when I heard Tim Hortons would be rolling out the payment system, I couldn’t help but think of it as a threat to the office coffee service industry. Will the technology give consumers a reason to ignore their workplace’s vending and coffee machines in favour of leaving for a snack or beverage?
For months, we’ve watched and heard feedback from Canadians about Canada’s new polymer money. When the new $20 bank note is issued on Nov. 7, I’m sure the feedback will make headlines again.
There are approximately $800 million worth of $20 bills circulating right now, according to Julie Girard, Bank of Canada spokesperson. Girard told the Toronto Sun that the public, vending and cash machine industries “need time to get comfortable with the latest version.”
Canada has approximately 500,000 bank machines and the majority of them dispense $20 bills. Girard said not all of them will be ready for the new bills, and it will take time for machines of all kind to be changed over to the new money.
Mostly negative news made headlines when other polymer bills and Canada’s new coins were released earlier this year, as many machines were not prepared to accept the new forms of currency. Are you prepared for the new $20 bill?
And finally in innovation news, PepsiCo recently unveiled the pilot program of the Pepsi interactive vending machines at five locations across the United States. The machines feature a large touch screen which is meant to simplify the purchasing process, reports TheDailyMeal.com. But the experience doesn’t stop there. The machines also feature games (with a free beverage as a prize for the winner) and an option to send a beverage as a gift to a friend. But what’s most interesting to me is that the machine provides AC power outlets and USB ports so that customers can charge their phones while interacting with it.
Imagine the lineup.