Mobile Commerce System for Vending Launched in Israel, Nationwide
New Service Enables Cellular Subscribers to Purchase Vending Machine Goods
Tel Aviv, Israel (August 5, 2001): Subscribers of Israel’s largest cellular operator, Cellcom, can now use their cellular phones to pay at vending machines across the nation. The service is available at vending machines operated by the leading vending operator in Israel, Mashkar Ltd, a subsidiary of the Central Bottling Company (the Israeli franchisee of the Coca Cola Company). The service is based on Cellenium’s mobile commerce system for vending, Cell-U-Vend, which enables consumers to make mobile purchases in a simple, quick, and user-friendly manner.
The deployment of Cell-U-Vend follows an extensive trial period at major key-sites and is the second nationwide deployment of an m-commerce system in Israel, following Cellenium’s implementation of an m-commerce system for petrol/gas stations.
Cellenium’s m-commerce system enables registered consumers to make purchases in a simple and secure way. Consumers simply key-in the vending machine number and PIN code, press ‘send’ and vend. Upon successful completion of the vending process, consumers receive an SMS receipt (which includes the details of the transaction). Cellcom subscribers can register for the service by completing a one-time, simple, and short IVR (Interactive Voice Response) process, which requires registrants to select a four-digit personal PIN code. The billing (including presentment) is handled either through the Cellcom monthly bill or consumers’ credit card company.
In addition to cellular vending, Cellenium’s system enables monitoring and control functionalities which optimize vending crew’s visit to sites, and inventory and vending machines control.
Oren Most, a senior vice president at Cellcom indicated that ‘Cellcom is pleased to enter this new area in which the mobile phones is used as a convenient and secure means for making micro-payments’. He added that ‘these services (m-commerce) will enable consumers to make purchases without the need for coins or bills’ and that ‘leveraging on Amdoc’s billing platform Cellcom can offer consumers complete billing services, including detailed transaction information on its monthly bills’.
Hagit Yerushalmi, the Managing Director of Mashkar, said that ‘Cellenium’s system offers consumers a supreme service’. In an independent study conducted for Mashkar, 25% of respondents indicated that they do not purchase from vending machines because they do not have small change. Yerushalmi states that ‘enabling cellular vending makes the whole vending process more convenient and accessible to consumers, serving as a stepping stone for Mashkar and other vending operators in the industry’.