According to a new research report from the IoT analyst firm Berg Insight, the global installed base of connected vending machines reached an estimated 5.8 million units in 2022.
North America represents the largest share of these machines, closely followed by the Rest of the World markets. Both are estimated to have installed bases of around 2.1 million each.
In Europe, the installed base of connected vending machines is estimated to have reached around 1.5 million units. Berg Insight forecasts that the number of connected vending machines worldwide will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 16.4 percent to reach 12.3 million units by 2027. As a result, the global penetration rate will reach 75.7 percent at the end of the forecast period.
The global connected vending solution market is served by a variety of players. Many of the leading providers are specialised technology companies offering connected vending telemetry and cashless payment solutions. US-based Cantaloupe is established as the clear leader in terms of installed base with more than 900,000 connected vending machines, mainly in North America.
Other leading technology suppliers include Crane Payment Innovations, Nayax, Ingenico and Televend (INTIS). The latter has continued to show significant growth and is clearly established as a top player on the European market. MatiPay, Vianet Group and Vendon are additional examples of technology players with relatively significant installed bases in Europe. In China, InHand networks holds a prominent position and is estimated to have installed its solutions in close to 300,000 vending machines by the end of 2022.
“The number of connected vending machines continues to grow and has now reached very high levels, particularly in North America”, said Felix Linderum, IoT Analyst at Berg Insight.
In Europe and the Rest of the World markets penetration levels are still modest but growing. Overall, cashless payments continue to be the main driver for adding connectivity in vending machines.
“This development was further reinforced by the Covid-19 pandemic”, continued Mr. Linderum.
He adds that because of the pandemic, there has been an accelerated adoption of cashless and contactless payments as users seek versatility, convenience and safety to a larger extent than before. Outside of North America and Europe, the main driver for growth is the growing installed base of connected vending machines in China. While stringent lockdowns enforced during the Covid-19 pandemic led to a slowdown in the country, there has been a noteworthy surge in the number of vending machines in China over the past few years. Berg Insight anticipates that the country is poised to emerge as a key player in the connected vending space.
Mr. Linderum concluded:
“Mobile payments and remote management of multimedia content are basically standard on the vending machines in China. Facial recognition technology is also a growing trend and enables pay-with-your-face functionality.”