Event Highlights

A Recap of the Hottest Event of the Summer: Cantaloupe’s Innovation Summit

August 25, 2021 | By Madison Barr

A Recap of the Hottest Event of the Summer: Cantaloupe’s Innovation Summit
Josh Rosenberg, Innovation Summit New Orleans
MC and Keynote Speaker, Josh Rosenberg

Last week, Cantaloupe hosted its first-ever Innovation Summit in New Orleans. The onsite event was paired with a live stream to ensure all who wanted to attend were able to join us virtually or in person. In case you missed it, this blog offers a recap of the newest features we discussed at the Summit, plus our latest announcement on Yoke Payments. We hope to inspire our operators by releasing new technologies and product enhancements that are shaping the future of retail.

We were thrilled to have Josh Rosenberg, CEO of Threeboysstrong, LLC as our keynote speaker and MC of the event. Josh has been a long-time supporter of Cantaloupe Systems and USA Technologies since he was an operator at the Coca-Cola Company.

Josh kicks off the Summit with high energy, reflecting on the early innovations of cashless devices and telemetry. He then transitions to today’s consumer market trends and where the unattended retail industry fits in. His presentation emphasizes the importance of “connecting with consumers where they work and where they play.” He acknowledges that consumers want immediate gratification, stating that you need to have “the right product, at the right place, at the right time. This means digitalizing your business.” Overall, it’s the only way to keep up with consumer demands.  

Cantaloupe CEO, Sean Feeney

Josh concludes his keynote session and invites Cantaloupe’s CEO, Sean Feeney to the stage to introduce our two event pillars: Engage Your Consumers and Optimize Your Business. Sean does this in a fierce orange blazer and explains to the audience that everything Cantaloupe does is for the customer, “our customer, and our customer’s customer.” It’s a true B2B2C focus, which has shaped the 12-month product roadmap.

Sean brings Cantaloupe’s Chief Technology Officer, Ravi Venkatesan to the stage to introduce our latest innovations under the pillar Engage Your Customers. Ravi explains that everything we’re showcasing at this event was strategically prioritized based on customer feedback. Last year, when he first started at Cantaloupe (formerly USA Technologies), he met with over 20 customers, many of which were at the event, to understand the top needs of the industry. Those conversations helped Ravi create the product development roadmap, which led us to where we are today.

Engage Your Consumers

Cantaloupe CTO, Ravi Venkatesan

Cantaloupe is helping you engage your consumers and increase your revenue with new ways to pay and new mobile experiences, including:

  • Campus Cards: Instead of a physical stored value card, students will now be able to add campus cards to their mobile wallets, enabling them to pay for goods on campus and access amenities. This will be available Fall 2021 via Apple Wallet and Android compatibility will be added later this year. There is no added cost for operators to accept campus cards.
  • Cryptocurrency: Consumers can now pay with cryptocurrency through the MORE mobile platform, a browser-based app accepted on ePort card readers. This is an added convenience for consumers with no added cost to operators. If consumers purchase products with cryptocurreny, operators they will see it as a normal transaction in dollars. This functionality is powered by Cantaloupe’s recent integration with the Bakkt platform and will be available Fall 2021.
  • MORE Mobile Platform: The MORE Mobile platform is getting a full refresh. A new mobile browser-based experience will enable multiple functionalities such as, pay with crypto, touchless vending and loyalty programs, among others. Our strategy is to enable an app-less consumer experience that is built to scale and onboard consumers in a more simplistic way. You do not need to download another app, your customers can simply scan a code on the machine and use. Operators may brand the experience as their own or enable their customers to brand. The updated MORE platform, including cyrpto pay, will be available Fall 2021, with additional features coming soon after.
  • Touchless Vending: The impact of COVID-19 has increased the appetite for more touchless experiences across all industries, inlcuding retail. Consumers will be able to scan a machine’s unique QR code via a mobile device, select items from a menu of offerings in the machine, and pay for their selection, all via their smart phone. From a consumer point of view, it is a simple and seamless buying experience. Availale later this Fall.

Ravi concludes his section of the presentation by inviting Cantaloupe’s Chief Revenue Officer, Anant Agrawal, and co-founder of Cantaloupe Systems, to continue talking about our newest touchscreen device, the ePort Engage.

  • ePort Engage Series: The ePort Engage is the next generation of the ePort Interactive Touchscreen. It offers a vibrant 3.5” color touchscreen to draw in consumers, impress brands, and help drive sales. It offers a full edge-to-edge touch surface, is impact resistant, and accepts EMV chip and most other payment types. Pre-orders are open now and we will start shipping devices this October 2021. Later this year, we’ll introduce the ePort Engage Combo. This is a 2.5” screen version of the Engage reader, which fits over a machine’s bill validator. It supports two different bill acceptors: Coinco and MEI – 66mm (for U.S. bills) and 72mm (for Canadian bills). Shipping February 2022.

Optimize Your Business

Cantaloupe CRO, Anant Agrawal

Anant then journeys into the second pillar of the event, Optimize your Business. He introduces our new mobile and remote tools that will streamline day-to-day operations by saving time and money. These tools include:

  • Seed Warehouse App: This is a new mobile app version of our existing warehouse app. It enables greater control over inventory and operations, with an easy-to-use, step-by-step mobile app. This solution builds off existing Seed Office functionalities, and it’s offered on both Apple and Android devices. Coming Winter 2021.
  • Seed Driver App: We are modernizing the look and feel of this app, with existing functionality remaining the same. It will now be available on Android devices through the Android app store. Coming Spring 2022
  • Remote Price Change (RPC): Our existing list of compatible machines is steadily increasing. We are adding the Royal G3 (660/804) and Dixie Narco BevMax 4 beverage machines to our current catalog of machines that function with RPC. Coming Winter 2021.

Introducing Yoke Payments 

Founders of Yoke Payments, Michael Johnson and Ben Thomas

Anant continues his presentation by saying that “we (Cantaloupe) really want our platforms to do it all for our operators.” To do it all, we knew we needed to improve consumer engagement in the micro market sector of our business. We needed a solution to meet the following four requirements, and Yoke Payments checked every box.

  • A point-of-sale solution that works in any location
  • The look, feel, and user experience of a smart phone or tablet
  • Seamless scheduling integration with Seed Markets
  • Affordable and CAPEX friendly

Through the acquisition of Yoke Payments, Cantaloupe’s customers can leverage an innovative point-of-sale solution to scale their micro markets faster. We now offer a convenient self-checkout kiosk that is managed within the Seed suite of services. Customers can manage all aspects of their business, be it vending or micro markets, under one system.  To learn more about Yoke, read our recent blog here.

Wrap Up

Our MC, Josh Rosenberg, and our CEO, Sean Feeney, wrap up the Summit by emphasizing the vision of Cantaloupe and our investment in advancing our sector of the retail industry. Josh reminds us that, “we are retailers and we are retailers because we are connecting directly to consumers.” And, in true Cantaloupe fashion, Sean Feeney carries bright orange sunglasses to the stage, puts them on, and closes the event by saying “for the people of Cantaloupe, the future’s so bright we all need shades.” We invite you to watch the entire Innovation Summit linked below or navigate through it for specific products that interest you.

Author

Madison Barr

Content Marketing Manager

Madison has over a decade of experience in marketing communications, she earned her B.A. from the University of Colorado Denver in 2011, and an M.A. in Communication Management from Denver University in 2017. She is passionate about integrating marketing, sales, and communications to drive business results.

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