Pehi is Created as the New Proximity Network for the Use of Vending Machines to Settle Public Administration Payments

  • Payments
  • 17.05.2024 10:05 am

Confida – the Italian Vending Machine Association – and illimity – a banking group and PSP (Payment Service Provider) – have announced from the Venditalia Expo the creation of Pehi, a new capillary proximity network. A solution which by combining the automatic sale of food and drink with the latest payment and digital service technology extends the potential of vending machines (of which there are over 830,000 throughout Italy), transforming them into genuine service centers available to the general public, places for people to settle their pagoPA payments. 

Pehi can already count on a network of 70,000 vending machines, currently being upgraded to handle pagoPA payments, in this way making it easy for people to settle public administration payments from their workplace or as part of their daily routine. The first business to take advantage of the opportunities provided by the new network was the public tech company PagoPA, owner of  the payment platform of the same name that was created with the aim of fostering the capillary distribution of digital public services in Italy. Pehi’s ambition is to develop in three main directions:  introducing a new, universally accessible payment channel, rapidly increasing the number of enabled vending machines and extending the range of services provided. 

People can access Pehi by using the app that already serves them for buying coffee, drinks, and other items, scanning the QR code on the payment notification and paying with the utmost simplicity.  They can top up their electronic purse directly at the vending machine, using the apps of the individual providers or in cash, or else by any other means such as credit cards, Apple Pay or Google  Pay. On completion of the transaction the user immediately receives confirmation of the payment together with a receipt, practically and securely. 

The technological partners involved in the project are N-and Italia (IVS Group) and  Matipay (Angel Group), whose current applications for managing vending machines are already enabled for connection to Pehi. 

The decision to extend the services provided by vending machines, starting with the case of settling public administration payments, is compatible with the numbers recorded by pagoPA, the national electronic payments system which averages 12 million users a month and saw an increase of 53%  in the number of transactions managed between 2021 and 2023. In 2023 alone over 386 million transactions were made through pagoPA for a corresponding amount of 83 billion euro, of which  3.4% for payments of less than or equal to 10 euro and around 27% for those of up to 25 euro, proof that the use of digital tools in relations with public organisations is becoming increasingly widespread for smaller payments. 

At the same time, proximity has now become a basic need. Taking the global vending machine market as a whole, there are 15 million vending machines with half a billion active users. Numbers will rise over the coming years, showing that these machines have become a new access point,  one that is essential for a variety of daily services. 

Pehi not only facilitates quick, secure, and inclusive transactions through the use of vending machines, it also aims to overcome digital divide barriers by fostering a democratisation of payment methods and channels and improving accessibility to services for the public at large, regardless of location. 

Massimo Trapletti, Chairman of Confida: “Vending machines are a Made in Italy technology which has been experiencing a real digital revolution over the past few years: they have become smart,  their touch screens have taken the place of keypads, telemetry enables the managing company to connect remotely to its vending machines and payment apps are spreading rapidly. Another step forward has been taken with Pehi, the vending machine network which has 831 thousand sales points in Italy, by providing an important proximity service, meaning that people can pay their bills simply and immediately, buy telephone top-ups, and also do a great deal more”. 

Corrado Passera Founder and CEO of illimity: “We are pleased to have contributed to the creation  of a new, innovative and inclusive proximity network at everybody’s service. Over the past few  months we have had the possibility of getting to know the dynamic world of vending machines from  close up through some of its protagonists and through Confida, to whom we express our heartfelt  thanks. This world has yet to express its full potential, despite the fact that Italy is one of the most  advanced countries in this respect. 

A curtain has been raised today on a path with significant growth potential: from now on it will be possible to make public administration payments thanks to the integration with PagoPA, but what  is more the range of information and enabling services to be added in the coming months alone will be significantly enriched”. 

Maurizio Fatarella, General Manager of PagoPA: “The integration of the new Pehi network with pagoPA is a further example of an innovative solution created from the virtuous collaboration  between the public and private sectors, thanks to which we are able to contribute to the acceleration  of the country’s modernisation processes. The initiative promoted by Confida and illimity is fully  consistent with our aim of making public administration payments increasingly simple and  accessible, as it enables the multichannel model underlying pagoPA to evolve through the addition  of a new touchpoint. Giving people the possibility of getting the most from public services through  technologically advanced proximity points such as vending machines means taking the benefits of  the digital world into the everyday places and situations of our lives, in an inclusive manner”.

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