January 5, 2017
By Kevin Woodward
Vending-payments specialist USA Technologies Inc. is integrating its MORE. loyalty platform into Apple Pay, the company announced Thursday.
An iPhone displaying the USAT MORE. loyalty card.
The deal is designed to induce more consumers to use Apple Pay at almost 300,000 vending machines that use USAT’s contactless payment technology and to encourage them to use the MORE. program.
The integration enables consumers using Apple Pay to enroll in the loyalty program with relative ease. That’s because the program can access data stored in the Apple Pay wallet, says Amelia Powell, senior director of marketing and strategic partnerships, at Malvern, Pa.-based USAT. “Now, with the Apple Pay integration, they can use whatever card is in their Apple wallet,” Powell tells Digital Transactions News.
Consumers not already in the MORE. program also receive a prompt on their iPhone or Apple Watch displays to join, again using data stored in their Apple Wallet for provisioning. Powell says the ease of joining the program, based on information already stored in the Apple wallet, should boost registrations.
The MORE. program enables USAT and vending operators to send offers to consumers. Local operators can send specific offers to their machines and locations, while USAT can send national offers, such as for a brand discount or reward, Powell says. “With this technology, we have the ability to have a more structured rewards programs,” she says. Or, the programs could have random offers or discounts, depending on what works best for the vending operator, she notes.
Participation in the MORE. program carries a fee for customized offers, but no charge for participating only in the national program administered by USAT, Powell says.
The overall goal of the USAT-Apple Pay integration is to induce more transactions at vending machines. “We have found that unattended payments are a gateway to using a mobile wallet,” Powell says. In 2016, USAT found that promoting Apple Pay use at vending machines produced a 37% growth in sales at these machines.
Apple, which launched Apple Pay in October 2014, has steadily been expanding where the service can be used. Apple Pay can be used for e-commerce purchases at participating Web sites when a consumer uses a computer with the Safari browser.
Because using Apple Pay is a change in purchasing behavior, Apple has focused on making it easier for consumers to use Apple Pay for everyday transactions. That includes gaining acceptance at merchants such as Starbucks Corp., Walgreen Co., and McDonald’s, where consumers frequently visit.
Apple, too, has incorporated loyalty programs into its mobile payment service. Last year, retailer Kohl’s added its loyalty program to Apple Pay. In 2015, the Walgreen loyalty program was integrated into Apple Pay. Apple Pay is now accepted at 4 million U.S. locations, Apple says.
Testing of the MORE. program and Apple Pay integration begins in coming months, Powell says. Vending operators can rebrand their program, too. USAT also is working with Urban Airship, a mobile marketing company, on offers for use during the test.
SPECIAL FEATURERead Digital Transactions Online