Can a vending machine without a card reader be profitable in 2021?

Can a vending machine without a card reader be profitable in 2021?

You can check the answer of the people under the question at Quora “coffee vending machine with card reader

0 thoughts on “Can a vending machine without a card reader be profitable in 2021?”

  1. Cash has not disappeared, nor have coins.
    There are plenty in circulation and will continued to be. Plus in light of revelations like this one….
    Microbiologists say personal hygiene more important than disinfecting surfaces
    Opinions : We are over-cleaning in response to covid-19
    …there should be no issue with using vending machines.
    What may kill the vending industry in 2021 are policies like this one in Santa Clara County, CA….
    Businesses must close employee break areas in Santa Clara County under COVID-19 restrictions
    Now they are cutting off the supply of cheap, quick, and easily accessible food that is pre-packaging in safe environments at a time when restaurants have been closed unless they provide takeout or delivery services only.
    Politicians and bureaucrats will be the death of society LONG BEFORE the Corona virus.

  2. A local company called Canteen services my job site, every one of their vending machines have card readers on them and they work maybe 50% of the time I’ve went to go use them. They are so unreliable that I’ve just started bringing in my own stuff, which lead to me saving a ton of money.
    I don’t know how many people carry cash on them anymore, I haven’t personally used paper money in almost half a decade. It’s safer and more reliable than having money on me.

  3. Profitability starts with your margin and if you know what your break-even point is and have marked up to provide sufficient profit after your costs have been accounted for, the answer to your question technically is yes; However I’m thinking your question should read “will I get a sustainable volume of business without a card reader in 2021” ?
    I’m not sure what the percentage of US card users is, around 70% I think – which means you could be losing out on a fair chunk of business if you’re cash only.
    Here are some points about cash that would certainly affect profitability:
    * Your machine is far more susceptible to vandalism than if it ran cashless
    * You have to have coin and bill acceptors vs a card reader & modem – the cashless hardware is probably slightly LESS expensive
    * A very high volume of vending machine faults occur due to coin jams – the cost of attending to them reduces profit, as does supplying the system with change
    * Ever sat and counted cash from 10 machines – even with a coin counter it takes ages, that’s more of your profit gone
    * Banking your cash is another cost – especially if you get a parkin…

  4. It would depend upon the location and the cash liquidity of the clientele who frequent the establishment. I’m a huge fan of passive income, but I would be careful here.
    Good luck!

  5. I doubt it. People are accustomed to using credit cards. Few People carry coins and there is a coin shortage that makes it inconvenient to restock the change making facility of the vending machine.

  6. I think so. People want to get rid of their change and old habits die hard and people will continue to use them. Will change over time to be less profitable.

  7. If it can take bills that would certainly help. Those that require you to have coins really only work if there’s a change machine in the vending area.

  8. CAN it be profitable? Sure. Depends on the location, merchandise and traffic.
    WILL it be profitable? Only running it for a while in a given location after analyzing the market will tell. Are there competitors nearby that take cards? Does the machine take bills or just coins? Lots of variables. Probably OK in 2021, but profits may tend to diminish in later years.

    Victor Allen’s

  9. Are there any competitors offering similar services in the area? Always a great place to start.
    A lot depends on typical consumer in that area too. If the machine is located in an area where a good percentage of people still use cash vs smartphone apps or cards then you may be safe to run with just cash only.
    If it’s an option, using classic “split A/B test” approach would be a good choice too. Offering both card / smartphone app readers and cash initially would give you great feedback for decision making.


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