“Who wants to shop at vending machines?”

When PYMNTS first encountered PayRange CEO Paresh Patel at Innovation Project 2013, he was leading a tiny startup with a big goal: to bring vending into the digital age. Yes, vending — those large, unattended kiosks that typically serve a wide variety of salty snacks and soda and are often found in hotel ice machine corridors. The response from a would-be investor then when pitched his idea was more or less a shrug. Interesting technology, but who cares about vending?

A few years out and PayRange is still a startup that’s made great strides in delivering on its ambition of “reinventing the consumer experience in the world of automated retail.” PayRange and Patel are doing that by making it possible for almost any legacy vending and coin-operated laundry machines to take a digital payment by using its Bluetooth dongle to connect to the internet and its payments gateway.

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