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    Americans Spent $548 Billion on Self-service Payment Systems: Study

    The self-service "buy-and-pay" economy, which includes transactions at kiosks (such as self-checkout) and vending machines, is expected to continue gaining in popularity, according to a new report from market intelligence firm Packaged Facts.

    Consumers spent $548 million on the self-service payment systems in 2007, a 19 percent over 2006 sales, and a 17 percent compound annual growth rate will spur sales to about $1.2 trillion by 2012, the market research company said.

    The report, "The Self-Service 'Buy-and-Pay' Market: Kiosk, Vending and Foodservice Trends in the U.S.," predicted that self-checkout kiosks will grow their share of transaction volume from 30 percent to 35 percent, while vending's share will stay in the low single digits despite a considerable improvement in annual growth -- from 3 percent in 2007 to 8 percent by 2012 -- as the vending industry moves ever closer to the higher-tech kiosk model.

    A variety of positive factors, among them technological advancements, payment developments, retail trends, and consumer attitudes, are resulting in healthy growth globally. Convenience is a key factor in market expansion, in addition to user-friendly payment system interfaces.

    "The advantages retailers gain from self-checkouts mirror the advantages of other kiosks and self-service systems, with one of the most cost-effective being the savings on labor," noted Packaged Facts publisher Tatjana Meerman. "While upfront costs are high -- a retailer may pay up to $100,000 for a four-lane system with a cashier's station -- the expense can be quickly earned back. This setup uses one attendant for four machines as opposed to four cashiers for four registers, a labor savings of 75 percent."

    "The Self-Service 'Buy-and-Pay' Market: Kiosk, Vending and Foodservice Trends in the U.S." probes the historical origins, imminent trends, and occasional mistakes of self-service commerce initiatives. It identifies such major players as NCR, VeriFone and Coinstar, and lays out the pros and cons of self-service programs. Additionally, the report takes an in-depth look at trends in the payments industry regarding their relation to self-service applications.

    For further information visit http://www.packagedfacts.com/Automated-Self-Service-1562604/.

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