GREENSBORO, NC - USConnect, a network of vending and food-service operators, has expanded to 21 companies since its launch in April with 14 members. The geographically exclusive organization said it′s in discussions with other operators. When fully deployed, the current group will reportedly have about 35,000 connected points of sale that consist of vending machines, micromarkets, and dining facilities.

These machines will accept integrated cashless payments through credit and debit cards, as well as the proprietary hosted-balances USConnect Card. The network is being built to accept smartphone payments, too.

USConnect is positioned to fulfill product-specific promotions and loyalty incentives through technology that makes use of prekitting and planogram verification to correlate the DEX stream with specific products.

 “Vending and food-service operators need the feeling of belonging to an organization that has their best interests at heart,” said Whitacre. “Independent operators need to band together for survival, and as a bonus, this organization is also about improved profitability and business growth.”