Revamping the face of vending and gaming machines with seamless POS integrations
Case studies / 18.02.2022
Do you remember those warm mid-summer evenings with the smell of candy floss in the air and the sound of joyful children having the time of their lives? Most of us have had some memorable experiences at carnivals – from our early childhood into adulthood.
Carnivals are a celebration of summer, family, food and drink and a place to make wonderful memories. And just like technology is changing to offer us increased convenience in our daily lives, two individuals in the Netherlands have come together to change the face of carnivals in the country, making them technologically advanced and ready to meet your payment needs.
Meet Christian Brunselaar and Rik Vermeer
Christian and Rik met in May 2020 and set their goal to change gaming and vending machines in the Netherlands. Rik, an electrical engineer and Christian, a business owner in carnival and entertainment with a decades-long family history in the industry, decided that these machines needed an upgrade to be able to cater to contactless payment methods.
Christian mentioned that he witnessed 70-80% turnover made by cards as a result of the pandemic last year and that even before that, the idea of integrating an unattended POS device with a gaming and vending machine was born. But it was not just any POS device – they chose the myPOS Mini card reader for the innovative and unique new integration project.
They kicked it off in June 2020 and by August, Rik had developed a prototype with the necessary hardware and software, testing that the idea worked and then moving on to making the custom-made Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs) to make the interfacing of the different devices connected to what is ultimately a small computer that fits in the palm of a hand.
To keep track of stock in the machine, whether there was a specific function or malfunction, or even whether there’s been vandalism on it, a telemetrie is used for reports, analytics and statistical purposes – ultimately converting the 30-year-old “silly, old” vending machines from the 1990s into powerful and smart ones.
A vending machine can now be controlled with the click of a button through a simple app installed on your phone.
But there’s more. There is also the ability to install changeable electronic price displays of the items, which can be changed with the app to suit different audiences and customers. Vending machines at an exhibition aimed at young school children can, for example, ultimately set lower prices for them and then such prices can be increased to suit a more business-oriented audience later. All this from a distance.
“I only had to combine the code with default MDB [multi drop bus] commands, which is the default communication protocol in vending machines since the 1990s until now,” said Rik.
To put it in context, MDB – which is an interface standard used in the vending world – is not something that’s commonly supported by POS machines. This is what makes this project so innovative and exciting, now enabling business owners to swap small change acceptance for contactless card payments.
With the central unit being made from a Raspberry Pie, the affordable solution itself, excluding the POS device, is only 499 EUR.
Special custom casings were 3D printed to fit the PCB and Raspberry in a vending machine. For the myPOS Mini, Christian and Rik use a myPOS vending case or they create a custom stainless steel casing
A truly remarkable innovation in the vending and gaming space, they already have their first yachting client at the Rotterdam marina who sought integration help after months of challenges in the POS integration process.
Christian and Rik mention that they’re ready with the hardware and software and that this project could take about one hour to complete and enable the marina to accept seamless payments on their two vending machines.
Christian added that the myPOS offering is perfectly suited to his seasonal carnival business as it offers a pay-as-you-use model with no monthly or annual fees. Working with myPOS for several years already, he indicated that the previous solution they used with a Netherlands bank ended up being rather costly due to its monthly charges, which do not cater to seasonal businesses.
With this innovation in place and its potential to expand rapidly in the future as more and more business owners seek a seamless integration with POS devices, “There’s so much more to come!”
For more information, don’t hesitate to visit the website Christian and Rik created for this project.