Cantaloupe Systems said it now supports Apple Pay, the contactless payment application that will be available for the iPhone 6. Apple Pay, which will be released in October, will work at vending machines running Cantaloupe’s Seed Cashless mobile payments solution without a hardware upgrade or additional costs to operators.
Apple Pay uses near field-communication technology (NFC) for secure data exchange with the Seed Cashless card reader. Leading Android mobile payment apps like Google Wallet and Softcard (formerly Isis) also use NFC. Seed Cashless card readers have always included NFC capability. To use Apple Pay, consumers will need an iPhone 6 or 6 Plus running a software update that Apple is planning to release in October.
Cantaloupe expects operators to see significant payment volume from Apple Pay. A spokesperson from the company said, “We’ve always included NFC technology in every card reader, because we predicted that the payments industry would eventually coalesce on NFC and we didn’t want our customers to get stuck with swipe-only hardware that would soon become obsolete. This decision was validated again when Apple chose to follow Google and others in using NFC.”
Vending operators who want to accept mobile payments should demand NFC support from their cashless supplier. If there’s no NFC radio in the external card reader or built into the door of newer machines that have a swipe-only card reader, then an expensive upgrade will be needed.
However, Seed Cashless also accepts traditional magnetic stripe credit and debit cards. This flexibility will permit consumers to gradually migrate from plastic to mobile at their own pace, while operators capture the maximum possible cashless sales during the transition.