NAMA MDB Version 4.3 Updates Cashless Standards

NMMA MBDThe National Automatic Merchandising Association (NAMA) recently released Version 4.3, the latest version of the multi-drop bus (MDB) standards.

There are eight changes to the cashless devices section. Compared to the earlier version, MDB Version 4.3 revisions only appear in “Section 7 – Cashless Devices.” The revised Section 7 is color coded to help clarify the changes. All other sections of MDB Version 4.3 remain identical to those of MDB 4.2.

“MDB Version 4.3 allows for a comprehensive treatment of cashless transactions across convenience services,” said Michael Kasavana, Ph.D., NAMA endowed professor emeritus. “The MDB standard has a long history of quality and reliability, and MDB Version 4.3 is built on the same proven principles.”

The eight changes to the cashless devices section are:

1. It allows reporting the item number dispensed to the cashless device.

2. The new “Remote Vend” provides a method that allows the MDB cashless protocol to run a product dispenser on the VMC. For example, a mobile phone application can select products on the phone screen without touching vending machine buttons or screen.

3. The new “Basket/Partial Refund” feature allows multi-vends in the MDB cashless session in a single transaction (i.e., single card touch). It informs the cashless device about each dispensed product (providing item number of each).

4. The new “Basket/Partial Refund” feature also allows partial refunding for cases when a part of product was not dispensed (i.e., the multi-vend product not dispensed, liquid dispensing machine with stop button, etc.).

5. The new “Coupon” feature provides a method to accept coupons in the MDB cashless protocol. For example, prepaid coupons could be scanned to allow the cashless device to insert prepaid credit in addition to standard cards with credit holding. Another example would be a QR code for free vend of the specified product.

6. It allows the VMC to take into consideration card information (funds available, payment media ID, type of payment) in case of selection first.

7. It adds the enhanced item number information. It adds the item number dispensed and the EVA-DTS PA101 field for item selected and dispensed to the 7.4.7 vend success and 7.4.10 cash sale commands.

8. It adds a new “Mixed Vend Flags” byte to the cash sale command.

Chris Lilly, NAMA VDI task force chair, named an ad hoc technical standards committee headed by Bob Ross of Ellenby Technologies, Inc. with assistance from Scott Hudis of Fawn Engineering Corp. and Joe Simpkins of USA Technologies, Inc. to revise MDB Version 4.2. Fifteen NAMA members volunteered to participate in the update, and the European Vending Association (EVA) provided assistance.

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