Cantaloupe (credit image/pixabay/MaximilianHemon)Cantaloupe, a provider of end-to-end technology solutions for self-service commerce, has released its Cantaloupe 2024 Micropayment Trends Report. The report analyses payment transaction data from a sample of more than 600,000 (out of 1.2 million) Cantaloupe card readers. The data is based on food & beverage vending and amusement/gaming machines, as well as more than 13,000 micro market kiosks. The findings showcase a significant rise in cashless and touchless payments. It also highlights the growth of micro markets in the convenience industry.

Micropayments are any transaction less than $10. The study reveals that consumers are increasingly opting for convenience when it comes to their food and drink purchases. Spending at vending machines continues to grow with more than $3 billion spent in 2023. This represented a 23% increase from the previous year. Micro markets, a growing segment in the convenience industry generated more than $750 million in sales. The report also highlights trends in cash versus cashless payments and tracks the growth of micro markets. Additionally, the report provides predictions for the year 2024 in the vending, amusement and micro market sectors.

The report data emphasises the ongoing consumer trend towards cashless payment methods. These include swiping, inserting or tapping with a credit or debit card, or with a mobile wallet. Cashless payments account for an average of 69% of food and beverage vending machine sales, contactless payments (tap to pay) representing 65% of those cashless sales. These figures demonstrate the continued shift towards more convenient and touchless payment options. Notably, 96% of payments at micro markets were cashless, while cashless payments constituted an average of 63% of total sales volume in the amusements and gaming segment.

The growth in cashless and contactless payments

(credit image/LinkedIn/Ravi Venkatesan,)
Ravi Venkatesan, CEO of Cantaloupe

Ravi Venkatesan, CEO of Cantaloupe expressed excitement about the report’s findings stating. “The growth in cashless and contactless payments, especially during the post-COVID recovery, indicates the self-service and convenience industry is thriving. Cashless payments continue to dominate the self-service payment experience.”

While consumers are paying with cash at amusement machines, the ones who go cashless are spending more time and money. This is over seven times more — than those that pay cash. The average cashless ticket size for amusement and gaming machines at $6.13, compared to only $0.81 for cash purchases.

For the first time ever, the Cantaloupe 2024 Micropayment Trends Report analysed payment data from micro market kiosks. The report reveals a 36% increase in the number of installed micro market locations in 2023. This growth aligns with Vending Market Watch’s 2023 State of the Industry Report, which estimated more than 30,000 active micro market locations in 2022 — reflecting an 18% increase from the previous year. One highlight from Cantaloupe’s report is the confirmation consumers also spend 37% more at micro markets compared to vending machines. The average ticket size at markets was $3.07, while vending machines average $2.01 per ticket.

“We are thrilled about this report and the visibility it provides into consumer payment trends across various industry segments in which our customers operate,” noted Venkatesan. “The world is rapidly moving toward cashless and Cantaloupe has responded by offering products and services that align with consumer preferences. Our expanded range of cashless-only offerings, including the Cooler Cafe and AI-powered Smart Cafe, has successfully encouraged more operators and retailers to embrace the convenience of cashless and self-service experiences in a variety of settings.”

Enterprise Times: What this means for business

The report is an interesting reading and provides interested parties such as self-service operators with valuable trends and insights. Such information would be particularly useful to guide business strategies and uncover growth opportunities. The report highlights the expansion of the convenience industry through the emergence of micro markets. This enables operators to diversify their businesses and increase revenue potential.

In the amusement industry, the report demonstrates machines equipped with cashless card readers generate higher sales compared to those without. Across all segments analysed in the report, the message appears to be the same. This includes food and beverage vending, micro markets, and amusement; the data consistently reinforces the importance of accepting cashless and contactless payments. This is increasingly becoming a key driver of revenue for operators.


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