Gold-to-go the Swabian way
by Björn Schöpe
October 13, 2011 – Our society is always looking for something new “to-go”: coffee, lunch and so on. Generally one might be doubtful about the quality of what you get there. But the quality should not trouble you with this new device: a gold vending machine.
The world's first gold vending machine.
Even investment goes “to-go”, maybe soon it will be posh to buy one’s gold bars at the vending machine inside of a railway station: you pay cash or by credit card, choose the object of your desire and you get it immediately. It is that easy!
A vending machine in the Emirates Palace Hotel in Abu Dhabi.
Behind the glass you can study the various bars and coins with calm, then you choose it on the display. The prices are updated every ten minutes according to the market price.
Thomas Geißler from a town in Swabia – the region near by Stuttgart famous for its inventions – made it up. His company Ex Oriente Lux tested a preproduction model at Frankfurt airport in 2009. Now there are gold vending machines distributed in Germany, Italy and Saudi-Arabia – and they are very popular. The most successful vending machine has a sales volume of up to 500,000 Euro per month. So it is not very surprising that they installed a camera for money laundering control a requisition of identification in case of higher sums invested.
The window display is very attractive.
Thomas Geißler wants to “de-mystify the gold business” and to “increase the desire for investment in gold”. Until now there are 28 selling points at “locations with very high security standards and good environment variables” all over the world. The new launch seems to establish a story of success: the company is growing. And there is another indication for quality and success of the new approach: it has been copied.
Where would this happen if not in China? Gongmei Gold-Trading company introduced its own gold vending machine a couple of weeks ago. These devices will be able to do much more: They will not only sell gold but even buy it. A barcode scanner is supposed to verify the value of the gold bar to be sold. Then you put it in and cash your money. At least, one day this should be possible. For the time being the new device is under repair, during the first day of work it was not able to emit bills. In the meantime Chinese tourists may purchase their gold bars and coins at gold vending machines made in Swabia abroad – e.g. as a souvenir from Germany.