An award-winning vending machine business is adding contactless payment systems across its entire business after securing a £52,000 Digital Development Loan from the Scottish Government’s Digital Growth Fund initiative.

Alloa based SV24-7 Vending, currently supplies and services over 300 vending machines to the public and private sectors including healthcare, education, government and local authorities, manufacturing and leisure providing hot drinks, soft drinks, crisps and confectionery, along with a fresh food service that includes sandwiches, salads and a wide selection of healthy options.

Since it formed in 2012, SV24-7 Vending has also developed strong supply agreements with high profile brands including Coca-Cola, Mars and Nestle.

Fiona Chambers from SV24-7 Vending said:  “Our business already provides contactless systems in all the new vending machines we supply, however the coronavirus pandemic has amplified the demand for quicker and safer payment systems to be added to every vending machine we operate. 

“Throughout the pandemic many customers asked us to remove cash from the vending machines and only allow contactless payment options to prevent risk of infection to their staff, which we did. However, we made the decision to retro fit all of our equipment with the latest contactless and digital hardware, which utilises 4G technology, and the Digital Development Loan allows us to do that quickly.” 

In addition to the reduced risk of infection, numerous business benefits will come from the implementation of the new technology including improved cash flow with payments being received within 24 hours, reduced bank costs due to automated payment processes, and the ability to review detailed customer transactions resulting in more data-driven decisions.

The business employs 10 staff and as well as providing a vending machine service, it also operates a wholesale service supplying food and confectionary products.  SV24-7 Vending was named Business of the Year at the Clackmannanshire Business Awards in 2019 and has also received various other awards including Going Green, Healthy Living and Employee of the Year and Excellence in Customer Service from the Forth Valley Chamber of Commerce.

Managed by Lanarkshire Enterprise Services Ltd (LESL) in partnership with DSL Business Finance (DSL), the Digital Development Loan is a key part of the Scottish Government’s Digital Growth Fund initiative which has the goal of helping Scottish SMEs improve processes and productivity through digital application.

Liz McCutcheon LESL CEO said: “SV24-7 Vending was already implementing an improved digital strategy in its business but the coronavirus pandemic highlighted the importance of accelerating those plans to respond to customer and societal demands.  The Scottish Government’s Digital Development Loan will help the company make those changes quickly.”

Kate Forbes, Cabinet Secretary for Finance said: “The pandemic has highlighted the importance of digital tools for the resilience and growth of businesses. I am delighted that the Scottish Government funded Digital Development Loan has supported businesses like SV24-7 Vending enhance and accelerate their digital capabilities and I strongly encourage other SMEs to take a look at how the Digital Development Loan can help their business innovate too”.