Introduction

#Overview

The Alipay vending machine solution enables customers to pay with the Alipay app, freeing customers from the need to have loose change. Merchants can also have better control over the machine's inventory with this solution, and existing machines can be easily upgraded with little or no hardware cost.


Note: 

This solution is based on the Alipay app. For solutions that support multiple e-wallets, contact technical support at overseas_support@service.alibaba.com.

#User experience

The customer uses the Alipay app to scan the QR code on the vending machine to pay for merchandises by using the Alipay wallet. See the following figure for an overview of the user interaction:


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Figure 1. Checkout with Alipay on the vending machine


Steps to pay with Alipay on the vending machine:

  1. Scan QR code to enter payment page: The customer scans the QR code on the vending machine with their Alipay app to access the payment page.
  2. Top up before purchase: The customer deposits a certain amount of money at the payment page.
  3. Choose merchandise from vending machine: The customer selects the target merchandise from the vending machine.
  4. Receive change: After the purchases are finished, any remaining balance is returned to customer's Alipay CN account.


#Solution benefits

At present, various kinds of vending machines are placed in sites such as subway stations, airports, and similar public places. However, in most cases, the payment methods supported are still traditional ones such as cash and credit card payment. The shopping experience will be greatly enhanced if Alipay users can use an app that they are familiar with to complete the purchase process on the vending machine, without bothering to exchange coins or worrying about the security of credit card usage.


Merchants can benefit from this solution accordingly:

  • Easy payment that enhance the shopping journey: Free your customers from the hassle of exchanging currencies or using cards. Attract numerous Alipay users by providing the convenience of paying in their familiar method.
  • Upgrade machines with little hardware costs: Extra hardwares, such as screen, are not mandatory. This solution can be adopted as long as the vending machines process transactions and sync the results online.
  • Boost sales with powerful marketing support: Alipay constantly reward users and merchants with various promotion programs. Merchants can even receive activity support and free POSMs from Alipay to carry out field marketing.
  • Gain data insights for business decisions: Derive insights from data and make better business decisions. For example, have a good control of the inventory based on customer purchase intension.
  • Good scalability for business growth: If new vending machines are added, the service provider can easily apply this solution by deploying new QR codes to machines.


#Before vs. after

The following figure illustrates the change of transaction volume trends of an Australian beverage vending machine.


In the figure, the blue line shows the transaction volume trends with Alipay enabled, and the black line shows the transaction volume trends without Alipay enabled. By accepting Alipay, this beverage vending machine enjoyed an increase of 2,000 to 3,000 transactions per month.

 

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Figure 2.  Vending machine transaction volume trends


#Solution flow

Service providers can refer to the following solution flow as a reference for designing and deploying the system:


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Figure 3. Vending machine (merchant QR code) solution flow