2016 brings great news for smartphone users (and really, in 2016, who isn’t a smartphone user?): the USConnectMe app is here! The new app is applicable to employees with access to USConnect-enabled smart vending machines, Bistro to Go! Self-checkout kiosks, and approved food service terminals.
Available for free from the Apple Store and Google Play Store, the app provides a host of benefits, allowing USConnectMe users to
- Redeem exclusive promotions.
- Earn and redeem reward points.
- Conveniently make purchases.
- Review The Right Choice for a Healthier You® options.
- Access The Right Choice for a Healthier You® videos.
- Directly support a charity of their choice (1.5% of each purchase goes to charity).
- Check their USConnectMe account balance.
- Add funds to their USConnectMe account.
- View detailed transaction history.
- Review and edit account profiles.
USConnectMe is USConnect’s innovative loyalty and rewards program, offered in conjunction with its nationwide cashless payment system. Previously accessible only through a card, the new USConnectMe app offers unprecedented convenience and customization. And until January 31, 2016, new users will be entered in a drawing to win an Apple Watch. Existing users who spend $100 in January 2016 will also be entered to win.
This week, many people are rushing out to get Apple’s newest iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. The new phones are much larger, thinner, and faster than their predecessor, iPhone 5. But one of the biggest features of the new phone, especially as it relates to vending, is its ability to now support near-field-communication (NFC) mobile payments.
With the launch of the iPhone 6, Apple also introduced Apple Pay. A user can place his or her thumb on the Touch ID, and the NFC antenna will transmit the payment from the phone to the merchant. When you add a credit or debit card with Apple Pay, the actual card numbers are not stored on the device nor on Apple servers. Instead, a unique Device Account Number is assigned, encrypted, and securely stored in the Secure Element on your iPhone or Apple Watch. Each transaction is authorized with a one-time unique number using your Device Account Number, and instead of using the security code from the back of your card, Apple Pay creates a dynamic security code to securely validate each transaction.
Dozens of large companies like McDonald’s, Walgreens, Staples, Subway, and Petco have already announced that they will begin accepting mobile payments. With 63.2 million iPhone users in the U.S. alone, according to Statista, Apple just opened up a huge customer base of potential NFC users.
Once users become accustomed to paying for everyday items at their local grocery stores, the mall and restaurants, they will come to expect the same mobile payment experience on their vending machines or micro markets. Many payment acceptors on vending machines and micro markets already have the ability to accept mobile payments using NFC, and with the introduction of Apply Pay, NFC may become the mobile payment of the future.