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September 21, 2021

Q&A: Crypto in Unattended Retail with Cantaloupe’s CTO, Ravi Venkatesan

Cryptocurrency is today’s hot topic in the finance world, and it is here to stay according to Cantaloupe’s (formerly USA Technologies) CTO, Ravi Venkatesan, who discussed the history and future of crypto in this exclusive interview with Vending Market Watch. In the interview, Ravi educates us on complex topics, such as what crypto is, why it’s here, and how it will impact the unattended retail market. 
Here are the top 5 points we don’t want you to miss: 
1. Why is crypto taking the financial world by storm?
Ravi points out that crypto has been around since 2009, and as with any new technology, it has gone through many stages of hype. Ravi explains that the recent resurgence of crypto could stem from “people looking at cryptocurrencies not only as speculative assets, but also as instruments for storing value in alternative currencies with multiple benefits. These alternative currencies could be used for day-to-day payments or transfers to and from other digital assets. Other digital assets could be anything. It could be art or music that's tokenized.” This has opened up a world of new possibilities. 
2. How is this a breakthrough for the unbanked and underbanked?  
Crypto is available to everyone. Ravi states, “digital coins can level the playing field for underbanked or unbanked individuals. It gives them much more of an opportunity to be players in a world that's moving to digital payments.” 
3. How does Cantaloupe foresee the adoption of crypto impacting payment acceptance in retail? 
“Crypto acceptance is another way to give consumers more choice and flexibility in the way they want to buy goods and services. From the first credit card reader, to enabling mobile wallets, we continue to prioritize inclusivity in how we evolve to meet the changing needs of consumers” states Ravi. 
4. How steep is the learning curve for operators and their consumers to accept crypto and begin adoption? Good news, the learning curve for operators is non-existent. The ability to accept crypto on their devices will virtually be the same as their ability to accept Apple Wallet or Visa cards. It’s a functionality that is activated on their devices, offering consumers more ways to buy products.
5. Why is now the right time to introduce crypto acceptance? 
Ravi articulates that before there were “three systemic problems holding back cryptocurrency: high cost, low performance and lack of trust”. Now we are seeing established financial organizations like Pay Pal and MasterCard integrating crypto. As Ravi put it “once reputable companies begin addressing the trust problem and administering crypto transactions off the blockchain, they're also solving cost and performance problems. And then by integrating with a company like Cantaloupe – and we have a large footprint with over a million devices out there where consumers interact and buy stuff. We’re now solving all the problems that were holding back crypto usage.”
In the world of crypto there is always more to learn. If you’re interested in where the first bitcoin transaction took place, or how much energy a single bitcoin transaction consumes, we encourage you to read the complete Vending Market Watch article here.  
At Cantaloupe, it is our vision to help the world buy it and go. We do this by consistently innovating the types of payments our devices accept to engage customers and optimize sales. 

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