Technology could transform the way we all use vending machines following the launch of a new smartphone app which enables users to create and order their favourite hot drinks.

We now offer a new range of smart vending machines which are supported by the ‘Button Barista App’.

Tracey Leahy, Managing Director of MannVend, explains: “The app works with our latest Coffetek Neo vending machines which serve hot drinks and carbonated drinks. It allows you to customise your drink by choosing from more options than are available via the standard menu on the vending machine. For example, using the app to order coffee you can vary the strength, choose decaf, add just the right amount of sugar and milk, or select many other options. You can then save preferences for different drink combinations which means that you can order your favourite at the touch of a button. Not only that, you can also order a drink while sat at your desk knowing that it will be ready by the time you get to the vending machine. We’re very excited about introducing this new technology to the Island, and we’re sure that it will prove to be popular. It’s convenient for employees because it saves time and allows them to have their perfect drink every time – and for employers it’s a great investment which enhances the working environment, and improves efficiency.”

Smart devices, 4G mobile broadband, and the latest IT software are playing an increasingly important role in the vending business, as Tracey explains: “The latest smart machines rely on 4G so that we have communication 24/7/365. Downtime is costly in our business, as it is in any other sector, so having reliable mobile connectivity is essential. It means that any problems can be quickly identified and resolved, and we can also update screen advertising remotely. Our fleet of vehicles are also connected using Fleetmatics software and GPS tracking so that our engineers can respond as fast as possible when customers need a site visit. We also use real-time voice messaging so that engineers can respond as soon as possible to out of hours calls.”

The latest figures from Worldpay show that for the first time in the UK contactless payments have overtaken payments by chip and pin for in-store purchases. Consumer demand for contactless payments is increasing fast here on the Island too because it’s so convenient, and MannVend is responding to that demand. Most of the company’s snack vending machines now have contactless technology. One example is the Samba Necta VE Snack machine – imported by MannVend from the USA – which can take contactless card payments, and has added features such as HD screens, video games, and touch screen technology which allows users to view nutritional information about snacks. Staff at Triumph Actuation Systems in Onchan are now using the only machine of this type on the Island.