The future retail technology inside Amazon’s new convenience store, opening Monday in downtown Seattle, enables a shopping experience like no other — including no checkout lines.
As marijuana legalization continues to spread, the marijuana kiosk is helping to simplify and secure the sales process.
By Richard Slawsky contributor
Just two years into the state’s experiment in the legalization of marijuana for recreational use, Colorado businesses are on track see more than $1.3 billion in revenue from the sale of weed and related products. That’s a whopping 30 percent higher than the $1 billion those businesses took in last year.
Those results are similar to what’s being seen in Washington, the second state to go 420-friendly. Washington reached the $1 billion mark in July 2016, just 12 months after the first legal sale of recreational pot.
And that growth is sure to continue, especially as more and more states hop aboard the cannabis train.
But as with any business, a growing customer base brings with it an opportunity to serve those customers with technology. Cannabis and kiosks are proving to be a perfect match.
Growing like a weed
With the results of November’s election, the use of both recreational and medicinal marijuana has been entirely legalized in eight states, with medical marijuana legal in 28 states.
While the approach of the incoming administration in regards to legalized marijuana remains to be seen, it’s likely that the movement has passed the point of no return.
Still, there are some sticky issues associated with the sale of marijuana. First and foremost is that despite it being legal at the state level, federal law still considers marijuana to be a Schedule 1 drug, putting it on the same level with heroin, LSD and ecstasy.
Because federal law prohibits financial institutions from processing payments from the sale of a Schedule 1 drug, for the most part the cannabis industry is an all-cash affair. Credit and debit card transactions just aren’t allowed.
Unfortunately, conducting business on an all-cash basis is fraught with risk. First and foremost is that having large amounts of cash on the premises makes a marijuana business a prime target for a robbery.
In June 2016, for example, a security guard at a suburban Denver dispensary was shot and killed during a robbery attempt. The killing of the guard, former Marine Travis Mason, was the first known on-the-job death at a licensed marijuana business in Colorado.
The same month, a medical marijuana dispensary owner in the Los Angeles area survived a shootout with two would-be robbers wearing masks and armored vests. The owner escaped unharmed, although the robbers were wounded when the owner fired his own weapon.
In addition to the outside threat, dispensary owners also face the potential of internal theft. Despite the amount of money flowing into the pot industry, dispensary workers start at or near the minimum wage. Handling thousands of dollars a day while taking home $10-12 an hour is likely to prove to be an overwhelming temptation for some seeking to supplement their income.
And that’s where the kiosk industry can help.
Fresno, Calif.-based Cannabis Cash Solutions, for example, is providing cash-handling kiosks for marijuana dispensaries that eliminate the need for employees to handle money. In addition, the devices store the cash in a secure vault until pickup by a manager or an armored car service
“What we’re doing with the kiosks is taking the money straight from the customer’s hands and putting it right into the vaults in our kiosks,” said Cannabis Cash Solutions CEO Andrew Savala. “The marijuana business doesn’t touch the cash at all.”
With Cannabis Cash Solutions kiosks, customers come up to the dispensary counter and interact with the dispensary’s “budtender,” who explains the different product choices available. Once the customer has made their choice the budtender directs them to the counter-mounted kiosk, where they insert their cash payment into a bill acceptor and receive their change. The kiosk recycles the cash inserted for use as change, minimizing the need for replenishing the change fund.
“Customers are still able to have that one-one-one interaction with the budtender,” Savala said. “The budtender can still spend as much time with them as they need answering the customer’s questions, they just don’t handle the cash.”
[Video demo of automated cashier]
Malvern Pennsylvania-based Crane Payment Innovations provides the cash recyclers and coin dispensers in these kiosks.
“It seems to be quite an up-and-coming market,” said Bassam Estaitieh, director of business development – acquisitions with CPI.
[Editor note – A total of 3.6 million vending machines will be online by 2020. CPI is the leader. Reference.]
And Denver-based ordering and payment platform provider Jane LLC has deployed its kiosks in Oregon, Nevada and Colorado, with plans to expand to California, Alaska and several other states. With Jane’s kiosks, customers can make their choice from a list of products displayed on the device’s touchscreen and pay at the kiosk. The customer then takes the receipt to the pickup counter to receive their purchase.
“We have been received with open arms in some locations, where others shut the door, priding themselves on the theory of ‘one-on-one customer experience, that’s our specialty and we don’t want to lose that.’,” said Karla Guarino, VP of Marketing/Operations with Jane LLC. “Every state has different rules and regulations which all have to be worked through. It’s an ongoing process, but an exciting one!”
Jane also offers a mobile app for iOS and Android devices. With the app, customers place an order via their mobile device and enter their order number at the kiosks when they arrive at the dispensary. Those customers are also issued a receipt to be taken to the counter.
Jane’s devices also include EMV compliant card readers that are ready to accept transactions in anticipation of the eventual legalization of credit and debit card transactions for marijuana.
“We have been working very closely with our banking partner to ensure our processes are 100% compliant and ready to accept transactions at any time,” Guarino said.
On the horizon
San Francisco-based cannabis investor network The ArcView Group predicts legal sales to top $22.8 billion by 2020, meaning the opportunities for kiosk deployments are only going to continue to expand, both in the United States and around the world. In addition, the expected growth is driving the development of new solutions for the industry.
Several companies have introduced kiosks that actually dispense marijuana, verifying customers via biometrics. Most of those efforts have struggled, though.
Tempe, Ariz.-based American Green recalled all of its Zazzz cannabis vending machines in December 2015 in response to feedback from dispensary vendors and customers, and is retooling its automated vending program.
And Los Angeles-based vending kiosk provider Medbox rebranded itself as Notis Global in February 2016, shifting its focus to cultivation, production and consulting.
Still, the technology that would be required to dispense packages of marijuana is already being used to dispense other products. There may come a time when marijuana vending kiosks are as commonplace as those renting DVDs.
“I was reading an article recently about a company deploying kiosks to dispense packages of tea,” Estaitieh said. “If a kiosk can dispense tea it could easily dispense marijuana.”
The current struggle for acceptance of those types of kiosks may be due to the fact that they have been primarily located in dispensaries. If a customer is already in a dispensary, they may be inclined to simply go to the counter and talk with a bud tender.
Depending on traffic, though, there may be a day when customers will prefer to use a kiosk for convenience. And as medical marijuana becomes more accepted around the country, pharmacies may look at those types of kiosks as a way to compete with dispensaries.
There also may be opportunities for marijuana-dispensing kiosks outside the United States as other countries seek to cash in on changing attitudes. Jamaica, for example, is in talks on a plan to install cannabis kiosks at airports and seaports as part of a plan to boost government revenues.
Jamaica decriminalized the possession of small amounts of marijuana in 2015 and has legalized the use of medical marijuana, part of a plan to market the Caribbean nation as a destination for “wellness tourism” and the accompanying flow of cash.
“The thought is that if you are coming out of the airport, there is a kiosk that you can go to,” Cannabis Licensing Authority (CLA) Chairman Hyacinth Lightbourne told the Jamaican publication The Gleaner.
“It would primarily be for people who have a prescription and, in effect, you’re doing it for medicinal purposes with a permit from the Ministry of Health,” Lightbourne said. “If they don’t have a prescription, then they can do what we call ‘self-declare,’ and this will allow them [to purchase] two ounces while they are here.”
How the payments industry came to accept marijuana – from Payments Source. Excerpt:
Despite this progress, most financial services providers still see compliance as a hurdle. Only about 300 of the more than 11,000 banks currently operating in the U.S. work with legal pot vendors.
“Paradoxically, most of the institutions nationwide that offer business to marijuana suppliers are small and very unhealthy; most are the ones desperate for income,” said Lamine Zarrad, founder and CEO of Tokken, a Denver-based blockchain startup.
Tokken sees the marijuana industry’s situation as comparable to other industries, and thus it can apply solutions that other markets use. Tokken uses bitcoin blockchain to peg marijuana transaction information to its blockchain so that banks and regulators have an immutable, time-stamped record. Information about each transaction is hashed and input on the bitcoin blockchain. In this way consumers, businesses, banks, regulators and law enforcement agencies can view the system and ensure there’s no tampering, Zarrad said.
Related posts onsite
Walmart is testing new technology that could revolutionize the way customers pick up purchases they ordered online.
Just a hop, skip, and a jump from Walmart home offices in Rogers, Arkansas stands historic Store #1, which, despite the impressive nomenclature, is really just one of many Walmart supercenters scattered across the country. From time to time, however, Store #1 serves as an experimental testing ground for the latest and greatest Walmart services, technologies, and other developments.
As reported by Hayley Peterson of Business Insider, Store #1 is currently showcasing an impressive feat of retail technology, one that may give some shoppers pause: “Is Walmart teleporting people now?”
No, but the retailer is striving to make in-store pickup as easy as possible for time-strapped shoppers. Currently in the beta testing phase, when fully operational this BOPUS (buy online pick up in store) machine will automatically distribute (i.e., without employee assistance) pre-purchased goods to users of Walmart’s in-store pickup service.
As the video demonstrates, mobile solutions firm Field Agent recently dispatched several agents to Store #1 to use this BOPUS machine. All participants were first directed to walmart.com where they shopped for, purchased, and designated for in-store pickup an item costing at least $5.
Nice whitepaper by Scanalytics on traffic floor sensors.
The Scanalytics intelligent floor sensors effectively transform
existing spaces into smart environments that track and analyze individual patterns. From boutique shops to international department store chains, Scanalytics provides anyone with a physical footprint the tools to discover actionable insights about their customers/visitors.
38 pages complete with sample graphs and pictures of installations.
The original founder of ZoomSystems has funding for new endeavor which seems to be in the same space in many ways.
Swyft was co-founded by Gower Smith, creator of the automated retail industry. “We are at the inflection point where automated retail is proven, however has not yet scaled. Just like when banks introduced ATMs, location numbers increased 10 times once independent manufacturers deployed low-cost machines. At ZoomSystems I quickly grew annual sales from zero to $100 million, but after handing off management, the company didn’t continue to lower capital cost to improve ROI. Our data showed that this was the key for scale to tens of thousands of locations and billions in revenue, which is our focus at Swyft.”
During the open call event, vendors will meet with key technology leaders to pitch innovative solutions/technology for retail, logistics, big data, security and social media. It is anticipated that more than 100 of Walmart technologists, leaders and senior leaders will meet with companies.
“As part of Walmart Technology, Lab 415-C actively seeks to engage emerging technology in order to better understand how to serve our customers,” said Tom Douglass, director of Walmart Lab 415-C. “Our goal in the event is not only to offer these companies a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, but to keep Walmart on the cutting edge of technology.”
Not only is the open call aimed at finding technology, but it is also designed to companies to better understand working with Walmart Technology. To accomplish this, Lab 415-C will be hosting an information session prior to the pitch event.
The Walmart Lab 415-C “Technology Innovation Open Call” event is part of the 2016 Northwest Arkansas Technology Summit hosted by the Northwest Arkansas Technology Council as part of the Bentonville/Bella Vista Chamber of Commerce.
Submission deadline is July 22, 2016 or the first 250 entries.
You will be notified by August 1, 2016 if your company is selected for the Open Call. If selected your company will travel to Bentonville, Arkansas in October to present.
See Blast from the Past on NCR Room 504
Personally, I think 2014 was the year when the hype around digital technology in retail stores crested a wave.
WHSmith, perhaps considered a rather traditional or whimsical retailer (given its 18th century roots, I don’t think that’s an insult), has recently announced plans to introduce digital screens to 100 store fronts.
The 55-inch screens will promote Smith’s products as well as displaying third-party advertising.
When Graham Charlton wrote about Primark’s giant video walls in 2013, the sight was pretty fresh on the high street. Now, any fashionable retailer knows that digital shopfronts are a must-have.
For all the beauty that a department store’s Christmas window display can bring, the ability to use video is a powerful way to attract footfall.
To put it another way, in 2016, the idea of receiving a delivery of posters, signage and point-of-sale material from head office every time a campaign or line changes feels increasingly outdated.
Smart technology consumer products are breaking the interactive retail barrier in creative, educational and experiential ways. Frank Mayer and Associates, Inc. sponsored a white paper, “Interactive retail opens the door to market growth”, delving into this topic and what to watch for in the coming year.
An excerpt from the whitepaper:
While more and more retailers offer experiential retail, VR, wearables and connected products offer unique interaction that, as of yet, is nearly untapped. According to David Anzia, senior vice president of sales, Frank Mayer and Associates Inc., “The potential is endless, and that’s where brick-and-mortar companies can use their imagination to drive traffic. The possibilities are absolutely limitless.”
The white paper can be found here, http://www.frankmayer.com/whitepapers/list/
NEW YORK – The CEO of Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s says he sees automated restaurants as the future of the industry and a solution to rising minimum wages. “I want to try it,” Andy Puzder told Business Insider.
More news from CKE owner (Hardee and others)
Pictures of units that we took as we toured NRF in NY for 2016. The coolest demo was Diebold actually.
January is the NRF 2016 trade show in New York. This year looks to be busier than ever for self-service and signage. I did a count of exhibitors and it over three pages long. Retail lockers and automation are going to be high on the list of attention again this year.
I’ll be there (big thanks to Pitney Bowes and Tom Hartmann) and if you want to meet up let me know. I’ve published a preview that lists most of the booths I will be stopping by to visit. There are the usual suspects as well like Intel, Dell and Cisco. I was going to say HP but there are not exhibiting this year. “Used to be” they had a massive booth. It’s interesting to see who has and hasn’t budget.
UPDATE: Some of the other activities I’ll be doing include likely meetings Traci at Olea Kiosk, also Jorge with Alveni, the folks in Elotouch will be busy with the KeyMe kiosk and also have new 22″ tablet enclosure from RedyRef and I’ll visit with them. Also I have a stop at the KIS booth (Kiosk Information Systems) one of my old companies and will visit with some of the people there. Good company good stuff.
CES is in Vegas is this week. The big news and products I am looking to see are the ones concerning home automation.
And March in Vegas is the new Self-Service Pavilion at DSE. This is brand new concept and brings together 24 companies in the self-service space.
Later this month we’ll provide photo tour of NRF from self-service context.
After 10 years, 5,000+ clients and over 300,000 screens deployed, FWI’s software platform is driving visual communications to millions of people everyday in airports, banks, corporate campuses, professional sports stadiums, hospitals, hotels, casinos, universities, manufacturing facilities and retail stores. FWI’s software is known for its advanced functionality – live data, interactivity, wayfinding, dynamic scheduling – that allows customers to deploy many types of applications, to many screens all fr …
Since 1998, ARCA has been committed to helping people control and streamline cash operations in bank branches, retail stores and self-service kiosks.
By focusing on technology and services, ARCA delivers thoughtful solutions to make transactions simpler, more efficient and more secure. Today, ARCA provides the largest selection of cash handling devices of any manufacturer in the world.
To learn more about ARCA’s innovative culture and commitment to our customers, please visit our website arca.com.
Advantech is a leader in providing trusted innovative embedded and automation products and solutions. We deliver comprehensive system integration, hardware, software, customer-centric design services, and global logistics support.
Advantech offers the latest generation of category-defining multi-functional self-serving computing terminals, multi-purpose interactive POS systems and turnkey digital signage solutions that support retailers to meet the ever-changing demands of their customers and improve overall business operations.
Our retail solutions also come with sophisticated software designed for content management, remote monitoring, system security and remote dispatch that influence consumers’ buying decisions therefore leading to more effective marketing efforts and increased business opportunities.
Our brand mission is “enabling an intelligent planet” to empower innovative technologies and solutions particularly for smart city and the IoT era.
ArmorActive specializes in providing purpose-built retail solutions for mobile devices. We design and manufacture mobile device enclosures and integrated solutions that increase the security, accessibility, connectivity, and mobility for retailers that are deploying tablets.
We support multiple use-cases for Retail Tablet Deployments:
Retail Solutions For:
•Tablet POS Kiosks
•Digital Catalog / Look Book / Price Check
•Employee Time Clock
To Learn More Visit: www.ArmorActive.com
Brands: www.armoractive.com , www.ipadenclosures.com ,
Bluefin Payment Systems is the leading provider of secure payment technology for enterprises, financial institutions and small-medium sized businesses worldwide.
Bluefin’s innovative and proprietary PayConex Platform includes PCI-validated Point-to-Point Encryption (P2PE), QuickSwipe mobile POS, Ecommerce, tokenization, international payments and more.
Bluefin’s cutting-edge payment technology is a key element in the holistic approach to data security prevention. Designed to complement EMV and tokenization, Bluefin’s P2PE solutions provide a solid security defense against current and future data breaches.
As an innovator of secure solutions for the payments industry, Bluefin is an advocate for the advancement of technology, and serves as a driving force for the education of security developments in the payments space. Bluefin is headquartered in Atlanta, with offices in New York, Chicago and Tulsa.
Brands: QuickSwipe mPOS. Omni-Channel Retail Payments. All Backed by our PCI-Validated Point-to-Point Encryption (P2PE) Solution. Our Payment Processing Services Provide Convenience and Redefine Security.
Brightbox is a NYC based end-to-end technology and consumer services company that provides secure, fully connected mobile device charging stations for venues of all types – hospitality, entertainment, healthcare, retail, education and transport. We provide a best-in-class, safe, intelligent, brandable solution that supports your business by helping them attract, engage, satisfy and retain customers. Each unit is a possible digital and sponsorship opportunity that can create revenue and a lasting impression upon the visitors of your venue.
We are in the business of keeping on the go people powered up and connected – and they love us for it!
Brands: Brightbox Inc.
Booth # 2147
Award Winning Custom Software Development and Integration!
Chetu is an award winning full-service software development, integration, and implementation provider that specializes in creating custom software solutions that meet our client’s needs. With more than 1000 employees, Chetu is a true and seamless back-end technology partner that services startups, SMBs, and Fortune 500 companies worldwide.
Take the customer journey in Cisco booth 2052 at NRF. You’ll Experience Digital Retail—the transformational power of integrated digital retail solutions to enrich shopper satisfaction, enhance workforce productivity, streamline omnichannel delivery, secure your data and stores, and provide actionable insights through retail analytics.
Don’t miss our Big Ideas sessions on Monday, January 18 at 12:45 p.m. and 1:45 p.m in Big Ideas Room 3, Level 3 in the Expo Hall. We invite you to contact your Cisco account manager to schedule a meeting during the show.
CPI – Crane Payment Innovations is built on the technological heritage of such brands as CashCode, Conlux, MEI, Money Controls, NRI and Telequip and holds one of the world’s largest installed base of unattended payment systems.
CPI is headquartered in Malvern, PA with additional offices, manufacturing facilities, distribution and service centres worldwide. Talk with CPI about improving your cash management processes through our cash payment innovations and solutions. For more information, visit www.CranePI.com.
Brands: CashCode, Conlux, MEI, Money Controls, NRI, Telequip
As a global technology leader and innovative services provider, Diebold delivers customized, integrated security and self-service solutions that help financial institutions solve complex business challenges and create an ongoing competitive advantage. Through collaboration with customers and partners, Diebold designs, drives and secures the physical to digital connections that power financial experiences globally. Diebold’s deep industry knowledge helps its customers address what they have identified as their most prominent business priorities today: growing revenue, driving efficiencies, managing risk, reinventing their business and delighting consumers. Visit us at www.diebold.com.
Dunbar Armored, Inc.
Booth # 1219
Hunt Valley, MD
Since our inception in 1923, Dunbar has been family owned and operated, providing organizations with cash and valuable management solutions for their ever-expanding business requirements. Initially started as an armored car company, we have evolved to offer a comprehensive array of products and services for every aspect of our customers’ expanding needs.
Dunbar’s solutions are designed to address each organization’s own distinct requirements. Whether they need armored car service, cash vault processing or cyber security; wireless smart safes and security products; or access control and remote monitoring, our team works to customize and determine the best fit for their organization. Our in-depth industry knowledge and experience, along with a complete continuum of cash management and digital security services, provide our customers with the tools they need for a comprehensive solution.
Our safes and cash management solutions deliver the real-time business analytics required to maximize productivity and cash flow, while minimizing the risk of armed robbery, burglary and internal theft. Our Image Vault® DVRs can be networked with POS systems, safes, and door alarms to effectively combat theft and increase safety. Services for safes and entry doors include rollout planning, installation, training and 24/7/365 support. Learn more about our great products at www.fireking.com.
Brands: CSS, FireKing, NKL, Summit, Ascent,Image Vault
Fiserv (NASDAQ: FISV) is a leading global provider of information management and electronic commerce systems for the financial services industry. Fiserv provides integrated technology and services that create value for our clients. Fiserv drives innovation that transforms experiences for more than 14,500 clients worldwide including banks, credit unions and thrifts, billers, mortgage lenders and leasing companies, brokerage and investment firms and other business clients. To learn more, visit us atwww.fiserv.com/cashandlogistics Stop by booth # 557.
After 10 years, 5,000+ clients and over 300,000 screens deployed, FWI’s software platform is driving visual communications to millions of people everyday in airports, banks, corporate campuses, professional sports stadiums, hospitals, hotels, casinos, universities, manufacturing facilities and retail stores. FWI’s software is known for its advanced functionality – live data, interactivity, wayfinding, dynamic scheduling – that allows customers to deploy many types of applications, to many screens all from a single software platform.
Goldstϋr has deployed its automated kiosks for converting old or unwanted jewelry into cash or gift cards, in an agreement with Supervalu banner Cub Foods. Goldstϋr kiosks are now in place at Cub stores in the Minnesota cities of Silver Lake, Stillwater, Midway, Coon Rapids and Apple Valley.
Consumers can exchange their gold or silver jewelry for cash or gift cards in a secure and accurate process. For the retailer, this approach represents a new form of revenue that Goldstϋr can capture in addition to generating additional store traffic. Moreover, it can be a hedge against declining revenues from other in-store services.
The process takes two minutes and a $2 appraisal fee, with offers based on commodities market prices that are updated every hour. Consumers can choose from a cash receipt or store gift card as payout. If the consumer decides not to accept the bid as shown on the kiosk screen, they can simply decline the offer.
New York Daily News
KeyMe unlocks big expansion: Long Island City startup to add hundreds of …
Might be a little late to the party given MinuteKey
See on www.nydailynews.com