Unattended Commerce in the Age of Digital Payments

BrandPost By Chris Nerney
Sep 26, 2022
IT LeadershipMobile Payment

Both consumers and businesses want streamlined, flexible payment options that help reduce the risk of fraud. Discover the tools and technologies that may help achieve these goals.

Couple paying vending machine with mobile phone
Credit: iStock/xavierarnau

Since the late 19th century, cash-operated vending machines and kiosks have been used to sell drinks, snacks, newspapers and much more. However, new digital technology is expanding how customers pay through these types of unattended commerce. Today’s consumers use mobile apps, wearables, and contactless cards to pay for food, groceries, parking, bike rentals and other goods and services. And businesses are meeting these customer demands by continuing to design creative ways to provide cashless unattended commerce to customers.

Customer experience is key

The entire landscape of unattended commerce is changing. For years,vending machines only took cash. This not only restricted payment options for consumers (who were out of luck if they had no bills or coins), it required someone to physically place cash in the machine, ensure it had enough change then collect the cash later – something along those lines. The cost of this type of routine maintenance may be avoided by installing a payment card or other digital payment options in vending machines.

Although unattended commerce can feel intimidating for retailers, there are some examples of how it’s being used for digital ordering.

An excellent example of innovative use of cashless unattended commerce comes from global pizza chain Little Caesars. Using a suite of payment and fraud management solutions from Cybersource, a Visa solution, the store’s payment platform enabled customers to order online or via a mobile app and pick up their pizza using a QR code at the brand’s exclusive Pizza Portal, a heated, self-service mobile order pickup station located in the lobby of each store. This endeavor required no interaction between people, making it particularly timely when it launched during the pandemic. The payment system can be tailored to suit preferred local payment methods, using Cybersource’s Global Payment Gateway, which secures payment data via a token management service. Customers quickly fell in love with this new digital ordering channel, and sales soared.

After seeing success with the Pizza Portal in the US and Canada, the global chain wanted to make these ecommerce tools available to their more than 850 stores abroad, which they manage from their headquarters in Detroit. Since no development ​is needed to add new local-market acquirers, Cybersource’s flexible Decision Manager fraud detection and prevention software was integrated globally, ensuring the customer experience was seamless and secure.

Digital payments offer huge opportunities for businesses. A software-first approach and open APIs mean they can now connect to partners and banks around the world.

Cybersource gives businesses a powerful and flexible cloud-based digital payments platform that serves the needs of consumers for convenience, options, and peace of mind.

Learn more about Cybersource here