The Lowly Vending Machine is Making a Digital Comeback

The Vending Machine is Making a Digital Comeback

Although the vending machine never really went away, they suffered from a reputation for stake food and numerous operational problems that made them the last choice for many people for many years. 

Of course, the Japanese are famous for their reliance on vending machines. They never fell out of favour with the people of Japan. 

But one of the reasons why they became so unpopular to many people around the world was because one of their main operational problems always seemed to be putting money into them. 

Either you had to walk around with 10 kilos of change to be able to afford anything they offered, or you had to have bills that were just issued from the mint. A bill with the slightest crease or wrinkle would be spit back out at you as if in disgust. 

Many people remembered the days when you would pray as you fed a bill into a vending machine, hoping it accepted the bill and would decide that you were worthy of something to eat or drink.

Vending Machines and Phones Solve Problems

Lately, though, almost everyone is able to pay with their smartphones. Cashless payments never seemed to catch on with vending machines before. The cost of the goods in the machines were never enough to justify the bank fees you’d have to pay when paying by a credit or debit card. But with smartphones easily able to make the smallest payment and do it faster than shoving money into a slot, vending machines are making a comeback. 

One new venture in Thailand is offering barista-quality coffee at their vending machines, and people are lining up to buy from them. 

It seems that payment by smartphone just may be the innovation that makes vending machines popular again.