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Why unattended services are in big demand

Gone are the days of tech-reluctant buyers who preferred human interaction to have to navigate payment on screen.

Consumers are taking control

Gone are the days of tech-reluctant buyers who preferred human interaction to have to navigate payment on screen. Since COVID, most generations are now avid digital shoppers. The rise of eCommerce, online booking and ticketing has created an entire population that loves to discover, purchase and collect using unattended machines – especially if they’re faster and more convenient.

And as technology continues to evolve, and devices become more sophisticated with easier-to-use and more intuitive interfaces, they are fast becoming the new payment darling. Not only are they helping to solve challenges of reach, scale and efficiency for retailers they are also busting queues, delivering more connected digital services and creating greater accessibility for consumers.

Innovation is fuelling new use cases

Interactive kiosks are now popping up everywhere. Consumers are using them to register for hotel services, self-check luggage at airports, book travel and entertainment tickets, view product information, book healthcare appointments, and more. Reflecting this, the global kiosk market, valued at USD 22.47 billion in 2022, is projected to more than double to USD 51.27 billion by 2031 – a CAGR for the period of 9.6%.

Today, transport is a major growth sector for ticket purchase and payment and contactless barriers. Parking too is experiencing new investment with the inclusion of mobile payment facilities as well as electric vehicle charging points.

Meanwhile, in the grocery segment, new types of unattended and remote payments are emerging including fully automated, checkout-free stores. We’ve also seen innovation in kiosk hardware add-ons. For instance, refrigerated kiosks that allow perishable items to be dispensed in high footfall areas e.g. dairy/veg kiosks in train and bus stations.

Indeed, the rise of pop-up interactive kiosks has fuelled demand to put all types of services in unexpected locations, where manned operations are costly or unviable e.g. roadside farm-food kiosks and self-serve laundromats at petrol stations.

So what does it take for a tremendous unattended payment solution?

Here are some of the top features, kiosk developers and integrators ask for:

  • multiple payment options including contactless and mobile acceptance;
  • value-added software to connect hardware;
  • ability to update connected device software remotely;
  • tools to capture and customise estate data for monitoring and reporting;
  • resilience, reliability and robustness.

No one knows what it takes to create great self-service experiences better than KIS, one of Castles Technology’s customers. A world expert in the design, manufacture and distribution of high-tech unattended devices and digital kiosks, KIS supports 43,800 unattended vending units in 20 countries.

Its latest solutions use Castles UPT1000F devices, “which combine ruggedness with elegance, power and performance,” according to François Ottmann, Payment Systems Manager at KIS/Me Group. He also believes that “because Castles Technology’s devices last longer, they help keep lifetime costs down, boost ROI and are more sustainable – making them better for business and for the planet.”

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