October 29, 2010

Vending machine eliminates wait for mall gift cards

Video story on new gift card vending machine deployed in malls in Rhode Island

Vending machine eliminates wait for mall gift cards | Turn to 10

When you shop for someone, you know it's not always easy to find that perfect gift.

Some like the option of gift cards.

"You just never know what anybody wants anymore. So, yeah, it's a good way to go," said one shopper.

And now there's a new way to go at Providence Place mall.

It looks and acts just like an ATM, only this vending machine doesn't kick out cash. It spits out mall gift cards.

The management at Providence Place is hoping that the vending machine will be a new convenience for customers.

Before, customers could only buy gift cards while the management office was open. The vending machine will make them available anytime the mall itself is open.

"There wasn't anywhere you could go and purchase any cards. On the weekends, there was frustration. So, we're excited to have this out for people to buy any time," said mall manager John Grayko.

It's all self-serve. There are preset denominations, plus a "choose your own amount" option.

"It gives you ability to purchase one or more cards, up to six cards, and up to $300 per transaction on your credit card," Grayko said.

The vending machine has been up and running only two weeks, but Grayko said the mall has already sold about 25 more cards per week than their normal average.

Mall managers said they expect that number to increase as they head into the all important holiday shopping season.

"It'll beat hanging out in line for an hour or better during the holidays. I think it's a great idea," the shop

There is a $3 transaction fee per gift cards, but the cards can be used anywhere American Express is accepted.

Posted by staff at October 29, 2010 07:52 AM