AVT, Inc., an automated retail technology systems developer, recently announced its technology patent had been validated by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office after it was marked for re-examination last fall.
It is estimated that more than eight million vending machines are in use across the U.S., making it the largest cash business in America and the most prevalent retail channel with the most locations.
Unlike other industries, however, vending machines are the only retail outlet that do not universally accept debit and credit card payments. Only two to three percent of all vending machines accept card payments.
Previously, vending machine owners were unable to reliably accept credit and debit card payments because of a lack of communication between credit card machines and servers, which contributed to long transaction times. It is estimated that adding card acceptance technology could increase vending machines sales by up to 40 percent.
Industry experts maintain that the implementation of cashless payment technology, such as that offered by AVT in its patent, would allow vending machines to sell higher-end goods, increase the number of sales per customer, improve brand image and boost revenues.
AVT CEO James Winsor said the company spent more than three years and a significant amount of money developing the patented technology, adding the company will now examine the best methods to exploit the opportunity and capitalize on its re-validated patent.
“We will explore all options to monetize this significant patented technology,” Winsor said. “We are aware of several other manufacturers that are now using our technology in violation of our patent, and we look forward to bringing them into compliance in a manner that brings the most value to our company and shareholders.”
AVT is a leading developer of automated and self-service retail systems. Its products include custom solution services for the automated dispensing of prescription medicine, gourmet coffee and fresh-squeezed juices, Kardashian cosmetics and perfumes.