Apriva end-to-end wireless transactions and secure information solutions has formed a strategic alliance with MEI global manufacturer of unattended payment systems to bring cashless payment solutions to vending operators. Apriva and MEI will co-market and support an end-to-end solution with state-of-the art hardware, secure payment processing technologies, reporting and back office tools, and MEI’s leading-edge EASITRAX vending management solutions. Each company is an active participant in the National Automatic Merchandising Association’s (NAMA) branded cashless payment offering and jointly delivers cashless payment solutions to the market. MEI is also a core partner in the ” Apriva Vend” cashless vending solution, an end-to-end cashless payment service that incorporates hardware, software, wireless transaction technology, and carrier services, as well as reporting and back office functionalities.
The unique service for unattended, vending cashless point of sale has
beefed-up its services. USA Technologies’ upgraded “ePort Connect” will
now offer the ability to accommodate different cashless payment devices
such as MEI and CoinCo as well as the ability to utilize different
credit/debit card processors, and cashless technologies, from
traditional swipe, to contactless, NFC, and pre-paid loyalty and gift
card offerings. Also, “PCI â DSS Level 1” network security with Visa
“CISP” and “Over-the-Air Updates” for customers using “ePort” devices.
Using the “Over-the-Air Updates” feature, recently USAT instantly
updated more than 10,000 terminals wirelessly with new contactless
specifications for a major credit card company. Additionally, USAT has
reduced the authorization time for debit and credit cards, whether
magnetic swipe or contactless, down to a few seconds.
PA-based MEI’s bill acceptors have won the top awards at the “KioskCom Excellence Awards.” School-Link Technologies received the KioskCom Excellence Award for “Best Food Service Deployment” for its prepayment kiosk for K-12 school cafeterias which operates like a “reverse ATM” accepting dollar bills and coins, which are immediately credited the student’s account. Precision Dynamics Corporation’s PDC Smart Kiosk won the “Best Travel/Hospitality Deployment” category. The freestanding kiosk lets guests load money onto their RFID wristband using cash, credit or debit to pay for food, promotions, memorabilia and such. MEI holds the world’s largest installed base of unattended payment systems, handling over 2 billion transactions per week in more than 100 countries.
MEI Conlux has acquired the assets of Las Vegas-based VTI, a provider of currency validation products. The acquisition adds the “VTI Vector” and “Matrix” products to the existing MEI “Conlux” product portfolio provided to the retail, transportation, amusement, vending and gaming markets. These two products complement existing technologies and enable MEI Conlux to offer a broader range of solutions to both existing and new customers. ValTech International designs and manufactures professional currency validation products. MEI Conlux holds the world’s largest installed base of unattended payment systems, handling over 2 billion transactions per week in 90 countries.
MEI was awarded $13 million to settle a long standing patent infringement case against Coinco. When the case was filed 14 years ago, MEI was part of Mars, Inc., but MEI is now privately owned. When Mars sold MEI in June of 2006, all currency recognition related patents were assigned to MEI. The award does not yet include interest, which is expected to be added by the court in a subsequent ruling. MEI holds the world’s largest installed base of unattended payment systems, handling in excess of two billion transactions per week in over 90 countries.
Mars Electronics International has integrated its bill acceptor technology into an electronic scale that measures body fat and body composition. The “BodySpex” kiosk utilizes bioelectric impedance analysis technology to assure a high level of accuracy, and feature an MEI bill acceptor to collect cash payments to begin each use. Simple-to-follow touch-screen instructions and audio prompts guide users through their test. The kiosks can also be configured to display ad screens and play video, enabling local merchants and national advertisers to reach a specialized market niche.
Transaction Network Services and Mars Electronics International have partnered to provide vending customers with the ability to purchase items via cash, coins, debit or credit cards supported by MEI’s “Remote Data Port” technology. The MEI Remote Data Port provides the added benefit of supporting the MEI EASITRAX(TM) Vending Management System, which offers dynamic scheduling, machine status alerts, curbside polling that eliminates the “first walk” to the machine and many other functions enhancing control and efficiency. TNS is a leading provider of point-of-sale (POS) transaction processing networking in the country and is Pepsi trademark-authorized for credit and debit card vending transactions. MEI serves the unattended payment system markets in bottling and full-line vending, gaming, retail and transit. It holds the largest installed base of vending payment systems.
Mars Electronics announced the first implementation of its “MEI CASHFLOW Combo Acceptor,” the industryÃ¢Âs only combination cash acceptor and credit card reader unit. The MEI Series 2000 Combo Acceptor features a Series 2000 bill acceptor and a debris-resistant, swipe-style credit card reader. Credit card transactions are integrated through the kiosk for delivery to the vendorÃ¢Âs backend system. MEIÃ¢Âs Series 2000 bill acceptors use advanced optical scanning technology to identify and validate legitimate bills in virtually any condition. The equipment will accept wet, damaged, and crinkled bills and coupons; and meets the MEI Gold Standard for water resistance with full fluid protection and jam resistance, preventing shorted boards.
Japan Cash Machine Co. has drawn a lawsuit from U.S.-based MEI over patents that cover the MEI “Cashflow SC” bill acceptor and other MEI currency validation products. MEI is owned by Mars. JCM American Corp. was also named in the suit filed in U.S. District Court in New Jersey. U.S. patent laws allow the owner of a patent to stop the manufacture, importation, sale and/or use of products in the United States that are found to infringe, and the action against JCM seeks this type of specific relief. MEI developed the first electronic coin mechanism in the 1960s, followed by the first electronic non-contact bill acceptor, and more recently its vending management system. Today MEI has the largest worldwide installed base of unattended payment mechanisms. In 2004, MEI reached a milestone of selling more than 3.5 million bill acceptors, 4.5 million coin mechanisms and 1 million control boards worldwide.
Mars-owned MEI has filed a federal lawsuit against Japan Cash Machine over alleged patent infringement of its bill acceptor and other currency validation products. MEI systems process 1 billion transactions per week in 90 countries. MEI has the largest worldwide installed base of unattended payment mechanism in the vending, soft drink, gaming, amusement, transportation, retail and kiosk markets.
Self-checkout and other self-service systems generated almost $128 billion in sales last year, up about 80% over the year before.
According to a recent study by IHL Consulting Group, Europe’s self-service industry is expected to grow by 35% in 2005, and
self-checkout systems are expected to account for a key portion of
that. IHL says one way that European retailers can help ensure the success of their self-checkout systems is by making sure they accept all forms of payment reliably and consistently, including both cash and credit. This trend closely follows the rise of the self-checkout market in the U.S., which began in 2000. According to The Food Marketing Institute, approximately 50% of American supermarket retailers had deployed self-checkout systems by 2004.
MEI is now offering clients options to upgrade their bill acceptors in the field so that they will recognize and accept the new $50 bill when it comes out next month. Upgrade and pricing options differ according to the model bill acceptor, and customers will receive detailed upgrade ordering information from MEI via e-mail and service bulletins that will be issued to service centers, distributors, and customers. The new $50 bills will be safer, smarter and more secure. MEI payment systems are relied upon for more than1 billion transactions per week in 90 countries.