Insights from NAMA OneShow 2017

Apriva was proud to exhibit at this year’s NAMA OneShow event in Las Vegas! Our team enjoyed meeting our partners, customers, and prospects and learning some of the latest trends and innovations in vending.  

In previous years, Apriva and our partners spent a lot of time selling operators on the benefits of cashless transactions for vending, but operators were reluctant. This year's OneShow was a little different. Instead of having to persuade the operators why they need to embrace cashless, the operators were more concerned with how to make cashless payments work, as well as gaining a better understanding of the latest technology trends occurring in the unattended space.  

Embracing change was the overwhelming message at NAMA OneShow 2017, and with the increase in transaction numbers and market investors, the industry seems to be doing just that.  “It is NAMA’s job to peer forward,” said Carla Balakgie, CEO of NAMA. 

Cardless Transactions
The ability to support “cardless” payment transactions was another popular topic at the show. Several exhibitors showcased payment solutions tied to NFC technologies including Android Pay, Apple Pay, and Samsung Pay, as well as the ability to obtain funds from an ATM via PIN-only versus using a debit card. It was evident the vending progression towards cashless payments is now inclusive of cardless payments. 

Financing
Financing new equipment, software or an entire new venture can be costly and has always been a hot topic at NAMA. The ability to finance vending equipment, and paying for the costs from freight to installation, is a huge need for vendors as they seek to conserve cash while upgrading their technologies. Apriva’s financing program, coupled with our vendor management systems (VMS) partners, drew a great deal of attention at this year’s show.

Generational Marketing
Generational changes are requiring operators to embrace consumer demands for better experiences through targeted services with more data driven processes. Encompassing roughly one fourth of the population, millennials have been the focus of attended and unattended retailers for the past several years. However, Dr. Bonnie Knutson, a professor at Michigan State University, suggested in her session, “Forget Boomers, Xers, and Millennials: It’s All About Generation C,” that the true division in vending customers is not generational, but digital. Tech-savvy consumers demand vending to expand beyond offering similar items in all vending machines, but instead to becoming a multi-service provider that leverages technology to provide better customer experience and tailored product selections to each location. User experience reports aid operators in optimizing the customer experience in an ever-changing environment.

Independent Software Vendors
Apriva saw more non-vending unattended software providers walking the expo floor and exhibiting this year than ever before. Vending is a growth market for independent software vendors (ISVs), and the technologies and consumer solutions they present are impressive. Apriva Integration Services help to provide the connectivity means and support for these innovative software vendors to programmatically integrate payments into their unattended, mobile, or traditional POS solutions. 

Reporting
Vending operators need vast amounts of information to support and respond to their customers, and the need for greater and deeper reporting was evident at this year’s show. Reporting needs have expanded beyond transaction volumes and purchasing trends, as vendors need to track loyalty, support campus cards, and uncover consumer trends within their markets to stay competitive and react quickly to market demands. The majority of the partners and prospects we spoke with mentioned their robust reporting needs and how they were expanding in our digital economy. Apriva is pleased to offer extensive reporting capabilities through our payment gateway, and are always striving to deliver more data through our self-service portals and APIs.