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A soda machine outside the neighborhood grocery store could encourage more Americans to adopt new credit card technology. According to the Nilson Report, a payment processing trade journal, one company's clients already process more than 25 million self-serve transactions every year.

Distributed in the U.S. under the Arrow brand name, the latest payment devices from Nayax accept credit cards whether they have traditional magnetic stripes or modern, contactless EMV chips. Merchants can install the Arrow solution in almost any model of vending machine, then monitor sales and inventory remotely.

The trade journal reported that Nayax, a leading manufacturer of secure cashless payment systems, supplies the Arrow systems to vending machine operators in the United States and nine other countries. During 2012, Nayax will enable a custom smartphone application that will enable vendors to run their businesses entirely from the road.

Contactless credit card readers have already proven popular with vending machine customers in other parts of the world. In Canada, the UK and Japan, where EMV-enabled credit cards have become the norm, vendors have reported marked increases in sales after accepting credit for small transactions. Real-time inventory tracking also helps vendors refill popular products more quickly, reducing the opportunity cost of sold-out machines.

Credit card payment networks Visa and MasterCard have used their clout to encourage adoption of contactless point of sale devices for small purchases. For instance, Visa recently announced that merchants who install the latest EMV readers will be exempt from costly compliance inspections later in the decade.

Many merchant processing banks offer less expensive fee structures for "micropayments" involving single item transactions less than $12. In most cases, retailers no longer need to obtain signatures from customers for purchases under $25. Though major retailers have expressed concern about the costs of replacing legacy credit card readers, inexpensive EMV devices could inspire smaller entrepreneurs to enable more unattended credit card transactions.