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    Pepsi Pilots Wireless Vending Machines

    New system lets customers pay with credit cards.


    PURCHASE, N.Y. -- The North American beverage unit of Pepsico. Inc. is piloting a new device in Memphis, Tenn. that will let customers flex their plastic at the vending machine.

    The new payment plan, according to Reuters, follows a similar plan unveiled by rival Coca-Cola Co., which is working with its bottling partners to roll out a system that lets patrons pay with credit cards or cash.

    Pepsi-Cola North America, which operates in the United States and Canada, is testing out the wireless system in Memphis. In addition to delivering customer convenience, the payment system also would let Pepsi bottlers see up-to-the-minute inventory information from the vending machines via a Web browser.

    Twenty vending machines are currently equipped with the technology, with another 180 to be added by the end of January. A nationwide rollout will largely hinge on the Memphis pilot, the company said.

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