Credit Card Vending Machines?

Sick of carrying cash? Enjoy drinking $2.00 vending machine sodas? Happy news for you: Credit card vending machines are being tested by Cadbury Schweppes. From the Indianapolis Star:

“We were all excited when these went in,” said Chant, who leads a team of girls who clean the ice between periods at Dallas Stars games. “I was scrounging around for $2 for a Monster. Now I don’t have to scrounge.”
The machine at the ice rink is one of 750 that Cadbury Schweppes and MasterCard are testing in the Dallas area, New York and Chicago to answer a key question: Will people spend more at vending machines if they can use plastic?
The early answer: yes.

Oh, joy. Someone tell the Stop&Shop credit swipe thieves they have a whole new venue to exploit. —MEGHANN MARCO

No coins for drink? Use plastic instead [Indy Star]


Edit Your Comment

  1. acambras says:

    I wouldn’t mind if vending machines accepted plastic. So many times, I’ve been digging in my purse for change or for a dollar bill that wasn’t too pitifully worn.

    And if I had a friend standing next to me, I’d probably swipe my card again and buy a second drink for him/her. So yeah, I’m sure I’d spend more.

  2. thereviewer says:

    Thanks Jesus, I have been waiting for these for 4 years. YES I do not carry cash. We have already had this discussion before.

  3. soulbarn says:

    They’ve got them outside my local target at the Eagle Rock mall in Los Angeles – with Pepsi stuff inside.

  4. TedSez says:

    Considering how often vending machines have eaten my coins or dollar without supplying me with a beverage (or my money back), I’d be a little leery about dumping my credit-card info into their poorly maintained machinery. Although it might be nice to be able to do a chargeback on your 75 cents when the Coke doesn’t come out.

  5. BillyShears says:

    I’d be a little concerned over some vending crews starting a card-stealing scam wherein they hack the reader, but overall the convenience would be a very good thing. I, like nearly every other person in the Western world, has had a machine like this reject bill after bill after bill because there’s a crease on Washington’s face.

    That, and a can of Coke or bottle of water would count towards airline points!

  6. mopar_man says:

    I’ll continue to use cash.

  7. joopiter says:

    My office building just installed a QuickStore24 vending machine that allows you to pay with credit. It also allows you to bank money for future use and links your vending machine account to your thumbprint. Interesting concept, but not one I’m quite ready to embrace. I will give them kudos for an excellent selection and that you can get a drink and snack for $1.00, although I’m getting a little addicted to the instant win game you get to play after your transaction. :)

    Still, I’d be a little leery of of swiping my card in any random vending machine. As has been mentioned, that’s just asking for someone to install a card reader. I doubt many vending machines have the rigorous oversight needed to prevent that kind of thing.

  8. acambras says:

    OK, maybe some of the other commenters have a good point about security.

    When I was in grad school, some of the vending machines accepted the prepaid debit feature attached to student IDs. So after putting some money into that account, you could use the card to pay at vending machines, copiers, etc.

  9. Xkeeper says:

    How hard would it be to tack on an extra reader to these things? Just slap something in there and hello, theft!

    I’ll stick to using pocket change.

  10. cindel says:

    I do not carry cash but hell I ain’t that thirsty.

  11. FLConsumer says:

    Cool. I can hear the credit card co’s and credit card thieves salivating at the prospect of unsuspecting boobs racking up their credit card debt higher with overpriced food & drink by swiping their cards at totally unattended machines.

  12. MeOhMy says:

    Collect credit card numbers all day long and you don’t even have to run interference to distract the pesky store employees.

    If the man stocking the vending machines at your office suddenly seems remarkably wealthy, you may want to check your statements.

  13. Itch says:

    Jez o pete. I mean how hard would it be to drop something between the soda machine and the wall? You wouldn’t have to even replace or damage the original scanner. Just sniff and record out of sight, which should provide a longer window of theft. One micro processer, 2 cat 5 or modem ports, and a usb port. The only reason things like this don’t exist in other locations is because enough people would see the extra hardware at the grocery store and raise Hell.

  14. mac-phisto says:

    now if they could just spend 5 minutes adjusting the trip sensor to accept dollar coins we could save the government millions of dollars a year printing millions of dollars.

    bah! who wants to save the government money anyway? hey, at least government employees will have another place to use their taxpayer-funded charge accounts.

  15. weave says:

    The Orlando Convention Center has had card swipes on their Pepsi machines since at least last Summer — and it was some insane price for a 20oz bottle too. Like $3.25. But it was good for me since I paid with my corporate credit card.

  16. TM says:

    The Tanger outlet in Riverhead has these also, probably other Tanger’s too. I was also happy to see they take PayPass, but I didn’t try it as I happened to have the $2 on me. :)

  17. scoobydoo says:

    We’ve had these at the local mall for several years now. Of course, the past few times I tried them they didn’t work… Technology at its best.

  18. Itch says:

    AH! So I was abit wrong. Apparently there are satellite connections on card machines now. Used alot in Europe in restaurants so the waiters don’t have to disappear with your card. And they are used in the States in locations where a physical connection would be difficult, such as a Ren Faire.

    But the scanner in the machine itself would still be a weak point.

  19. radioboy says:

    we’ve had these on our campus for a while. half the machines take mastercard, half them take campus card, all of them take cash. it’s inconsistent and annoying – it’d be nice if they all took campus card, master card, and cash.

  20. Thaddeus says:

    No love for the new dollar coins?

    I never give cash the day off..

  21. Maulleigh says:

    I’m very happy about this: I have no problem with getting rid of cash altogether.

  22. Helvetian says:

    I hope it’s PayPass (tap n’ go) enabled. Much easier and convenient. And I earn 1 mile for every $1 I spend, so good for me lol

  23. velocipenguin says:


    PayPass is a lot more convenient for thieves, too – you don’t even need physical access to the card to snarf account information!

  24. guroth says:

    Will there be a transaction fee? If you can only purchase 1 item at a time, and thus 1 transaction per item, a transaction fee could make things pretty pricey. That $0.85 snickers bar just became a $1.30 snickers bar…

  25. John Stracke says:

    @Itch: Even if it’s a wired connection, they probably encrypt it. ‘Course, they might be sloppy about it–say, a plaintext password over an SSL connection, with no checking on the certificates–in which case you could do a man-in-the-middle attack.

  26. John Stracke says:

    When I saw the headline, I wondered if it meant a vending machine where you could put in cash and get a prepaid credit card.

  27. zyphbear says:

    Actually when I was in Cedar Point in OH about 6-7 years ago and they had pepsi/gatorade vending machines that took credit cards, they did charge about $3 per bottle which was steep, but when alot of the actual restaurants and cafes didn’t take cards, there wasn’t alot of options.

    I do like they have PayPass/Visa ContactLess/AmEx ExpressPay since then less likely to actually use the physical card to be scanned. Not Foolproof, yes RFID, but it’s another option.

  28. Trai_Dep says:

    I’d have been much happier if they debuted this for porn or whisky.

  29. mac-phisto says:

    @John Stracke: here’s the funny thing – the data is transmitted over a “secure” dedicated connection, but the data itself is most likely not encrypted. that means interception can be (& is) done anywhere along the merchant side of the data line. merchants pretend the data is safe b/c it is not stored (unless, of course, someone funnels the info through a storage unit).

  30. Helvetian says:

    velocipenguin wrote:

    PayPass is a lot more convenient for thieves, too – you don’t even need physical access to the card to snarf account information!

    PayPass uses encryption, I’m not worried. Why should I be? My bank is liable for any fraud charges – not me.