The $5.00 Candy Bar… Wait? What?


It wasn’t long ago that you may have noticed credit and debit card readers start to pop-up on vending machines in public places by major Bottlers like Coca-Cola and Pepsi. Paying electronically for small purchases like snacks, candy, or beverages is nothing new. What happens after the transaction in the case of a vending machine though, may be a bit different than you are used to seeing with other transactions, other places.

Let’s explore what we see happen most often. Say a customer buys a healthy vending snack like a KIND™ bar and a Vitamin Water Zero™ beverage for a total purchase price of $4 from the same machine. However, the highest priced item in the machine is $5. The customer leaves the vending machine, goes to their computer, logs onto their online banking site, and sees a “charge” for $5. They immediately think they have been over charged by the vending machine, and rightfully so, IF they don’t understand how a “pre authorization” works.

Like in the example above, if the highest priced snack or beverage in the vending machine is $5, you will see a $5 “pre-authorization” on your account. However,  that is only the first step of the bank process. Let’s fast forward an average of 24 hours or until the actual vending transaction is verified by your financial institution. Once that happens, and you log back into your online banking site, you’ll see the amount change from the “pre-authorization” amount, to the actual amount charged for the items.

Now you may ask yourself, what happens if I don’t get what I paid for? What if it’s just hanging there, taunting me, stuck like glue? Well, if you’re using any Automated Food and Beverage vending machine, fear not. We’ve got your back. If your snack or beverage doesn’t deliver properly and pass the test of our “guaranteed-vend” systems, then your credit or debit card will not be charged for your vending purchase. We use state-of the-art technology within our vending machines to ensure that you “get your snack or your money back”.