Why 3G shutdown could cut off vending machines

The impending 3G shutdown will affect more than just Australia’s phones.

What many don’t know is that many unattended retail sites, such as vending machines, parking stations, car washes, still rely on the 3G network.

Quality Vend founder and CEO Robbie Allison told 2GB’s Ben Fordham that the problems had started with its vending machines a couple of months ago.

“Eight weeks ago, we started having problems, and those problems were centered around card payments,” Allison said.

The card reader did not have adequate support for the 3G network, which will be shut down in August, he said.

This could lead to people not being able to afford the snack they wanted, as happened in the 2GB building itself, Fordham said.

The 2GB building vending machine should now carry a reminder that it is not at 100 percent. (2GB)

Replacing the card reader is also not a piece of cake.

Allison estimated that the round cost, including parts and labor, would be $650 per vending machine, or more than half of his desired profit for the year on a $10,000 machine.

“I would be investing more money into growing my business, but now I’m investing money into my business just to stay where I was yesterday,” he said.

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And with unattended retail sites increasingly using tap-and-go payments across the country, new card readers are also in short supply.

“There’s a problem coming up that’s going to happen in the next few months,” Allison said.

“I know I’m down five to 10 percent from last year and that’s because of these cuts.”

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