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News in-depth: Coca-Cola and Google show off future of cashless vending
11 Nov 2011

People in New York and San Francisco got a glimpse into the future of a cashless society recently, when they had the opportunity to try out special vending machines.

According to FoodBev.com, Coca-Cola and Google teamed up to show passersby in Times Square and Union Square how they can use drinks dispensers that require eMoney rather than change.

However, as an even better benefit for those there at either of the locations on the day, it was free to try out the vending machines and get a Coke, which may have persuaded even more people to give it a go.

Coca-Cola and Google have increasingly been joining forces lately, with the former becoming a partner for the internet giant and its Google Wallet system.

People who want a drink from a cashless vending machine can use their smartphone, swiping it across a reader in order to pay for the beverage using a registered account linked to a credit or debit card, or a pay-as-you-go top-up system.

Spokesperson Dan Avenick said: "Cashless vending allows more flexibility in pricing and typically leads to a significant volume lift, as well as increased consumer satisfaction."

It is thought that more and more of Coca-Cola's vending machines will become cashless in the coming years for added convenience for buyers and the firms that operate the technology.

Last month, Marketing magazine reported that Coca-Cola is in talks about bringing vending machines that use Near Field Communications (NFC) to London in time for the Olympic Games next year.

NFC vending machines are convenient because customers do not have to queue for long to use them, plus they are relieved of the problem of rummaging around in their pockets for loose change.

Furthermore, it is safer for the staff who maintain them, as they do not have to empty large sums of money out of them each evening or week.

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