I can see why the vending industry is worried about a new British £1 coin, as it may cost the industry a bucket of money to retrofit machines if the new coin fails.
It’s a negative perspective, but a valid one all the same. I prefer to look on the positive side of the coin, which is that the technology we’ve come across at vending events in the last couple of years highlight the burgeoning cashless systems that are clever enough to take our money from our credit cards, or even our phones.
One such device – a VendMe-powered coffee machine (see video above) – accepts payment via PayPal, while this Coke machine just needs a hug.
Wearable technologies such as OS-powered watches may signal the start of ‘swipe payments’, where a quick flick of the wrist across advanced vending machines forces it to spill the jelly beans.
I’m being flippant, yet optimistic. We have to be a country that innovates and pushes technology in new directions. We can’t leave it all to the Americans and the Japanese (and probably Korea, China, Germany et al). If coins are potentially holding us back or creating obstacles in the minds of our economists, let’s think of something else and start relying on our Great British innovators instead.