PayRange, Mastercard Get Together on Mobile Payments for Vending Machines

April 21, 2017         By: Steven Anderson

The vending machine is one of the great untrammeled frontiers as far as mobile retail goes, and that may be about to change. While it’s commonly thought of as a way to get a cold drink and a quick snack, it could be substantially more than that, assuming that payment systems were in place to take better advantage.

A new arrangement between PayRange and Mastercard may provide the groundwork for some of that improvement.

Starting May 1, reports note, Mastercard’s Masterpass system will be a part of the PayRange mobile app, which in turn works with vending machines that incorporate the PayRange system. The PayRange system, in turn, allows vending machines to receive Bluetooth signals and thus communicate with outside devices.

The combination of systems effectively allows vending machine customers to make payments from a mobile device, just the same as if a series of coins were deposited.

Thanks to the Masterpass connection, PayRange now has access to the over 80 million digital wallet customers putting Masterpass to use, and opens up its own capabilities substantially.

Mastercard’s chief commercial officer of the digital payments lab, Betty Devita, commented “PayRange is solving an important pain point for consumers and also creating a better payment experience by enabling mobile payments for those who want to buy from a kiosk but don’t have cash or exact change and are frustrated by crumpled notes.”

This measure makes it much more convenient to use a vending machine, a move which was already convenient to begin with. Plus, vending machines can in turn offer wider varieties of items since it’s no longer necessary to price items in exact dollar ranges, meaning that everything from dollar sodas to $200 wristwatches can be added to a vending machine setup.

That kind of versatility could really increase the vending machine concept, and generate all sorts of unusual new offerings that could get a lot of interest going.

Now that the system is set up, all that’s left is to see how it’s used. Hopefully before too much longer, we’ll start to see new PayRange / Masterpass vending machines emerge…and what’s in these devices as well.