EMV Payments at Vending Machines Are on the Rise

Consumers prefer making tap payments, and EMV-enabled credit cards allow for a faster experience.

June 19, 2023

MALVERN, Pa.—There has been a significant increase in the amount of EMV transactions at food and beverage vending machines in 2022, according to Cantaloupe Inc., a digital payments and software services company. This growth, as reported in Cantaloupe’s recently released 2023 Micropayment Trends Report, is partly due to the fact that consumers increasingly prefer making tap payments, and EMV-enabled credit cards allow for a faster and easier tap-to-pay experience.

“We saw huge growth in contactless payments at vending machines in 2022, especially as operators upgraded to EMV contactless-enabled card readers over the course of the year,” said Elyssa Steiner, chief marketing officer of Cantaloupe. “With EMV’s ability to help reduce the chance of in-person credit/debit card fraud and increase the security of consumer financial data, Cantaloupe has been at the forefront of pushing for EMV adoption. The transition to EMV-enabled contactless card readers represents a huge benefit for the operator, the consumer and for us, as a payment processor.”

Cantaloupe’s 2023 Micropayment Trends Report showed that EMV payments grew by more than 350% as a share of cashless sales at these machines in 2022, accounting for more than $500 million in sales for the year. In fact, the number of total EMV transactions increased by more than 400% over the course of the year. In January, EMV payments only accounted for 14% of cashless transactions at food and beverage vending machines, but by December, that number was over 52%, showing explosive growth in the use and acceptance of EMV payments.

The growth in contactless sales specifically indicates that vending operators are taking note of consumer and industry trends and are upgrading their equipment to provide a safer and faster way to accept credit card payments.

While Cantaloupe represents an example of trends in the micropayments space, Cantaloupe’s partner,  Discover Global Network, has also seen similar payment trends on a larger scale across multiple industries. Most recently, Discover reported a 109% year-over-year increase in contactless sales volume and a 76% increase in transactions globally from 2021 to 2022.

“It’s no secret the payments landscape is rapidly evolving and shifts in how consumers pay are expected, says Judith McGuire, senior vice president, global products, payment services. “The ‘right’ technology enables success from end-to-end on the payment journey, which is largely driven by consumer demand. Contactless card usage has become an increasing part of EMV. This enables a fast, convenient and secure payment option for consumers using cards or mobile devices.”

Discover the future of technology in the c-store space by attending the 2023 NACS/Conexxus Technology Roadmap at the NACS Show this fall. Registration is now open.