Marconi Online Systems, a division of Marconi plc (NASDAQ and LONDON: MONI), and USA Technologies (OTC BB: USTT) announced today that they have formed a strategic alliance that will offer new revenue generating opportunities for the global vending industry.

The alliance creates the most comprehensive end-to-end technology solution for the vending industry by bringing together Marconi Online's Intelligent Vending(TM) service with USA Technologies' cashless payment and interactive multimedia capabilities delivered through their revolutionary e-Port(TM) technology.

The combined Marconi Online and USA Technologies product offering, targeted at the entire vending industry, will allow vending machines to be seen as machines that do more than just dispense beverages, snacks and packaged goods. They can become intelligent, wireless networked machines, handling many forms of cashless payments, communicating with other pervasive computing devices, enabled to conduct e-commerce and m-commerce transactions and opening up new opportunities in advertising and promotions through interactive media services.

''This partnership is significant for vending operators and consumers as they will both benefit from the dramatically improved convenience that our solution offers the industry today,'' said Brian Quarendon, president of Marconi Online. ``We are fundamentally changing the way that people use vending machines and anticipate that consumers will welcome the increased buying power and value-added services.''

Marconi's Intelligent Vending service provides remote monitoring capabilities for vending machines. The service delivers marketing, management and maintenance reports overnight straight to the vending operations' office. Inventory, cash and damage information is securely transmitted over a wireless network and helps vending operators increase revenue through machines that always are cleaned, filled and working.

USA Technologies' e-Port technology provides consumers the ability to make vending purchases with the swipe of a major credit card or bank debit card. USA Technologies specializes in processing transactions under $10, which results in a more cost-effective cashless payment operation. The service enables purchases for as low as $1 and is delivered through USA Technologies' revolutionary e-Port device. The interactive media services provide these same consumers with access to headline news, sports and weather, local and national advertisements and promotions.

In 2000, Marconi Online became the exclusive provider of intelligent vending technology to the Coca-Cola Company (NYSE: KO - news), making it the first customer for the Marconi Online - USA Technologies alliance. Coca-Cola bottlers have nearly 70,000 vending machines online in the United States, Europe, Australia and New Zealand. Through the alliance, Coca-Cola bottlers can add cashless payment capabilities and interactive media services to their vending machines with USA Technologies' e-Port technology and associated network and financial services.

''USA Technologies and Marconi Online share the same vision - a world of networked, cashless, intelligent vending machines, also capable of delivering Internet content and services anytime, anywhere - dramatically enhancing the consumer buying experience,'' said George Jensen, chairman and CEO of USA Technologies. ''By combining our technologies, we bring the ability to significantly change the face of the vending industry.''

The joint offering will be demonstrated at the upcoming Spring NAMA Show, March 29-31, 2001, in Las Vegas. In addition to the work with the Coca-Cola Company, the alliance is presently in negotiations with other global vending customers, independent vending operators, vending distributors and vending machine manufacturers to begin distribution of the joint offering.

About Marconi Online

Marconi Online is an Application Service Provider (ASP) to the unattended point-of-sale (POS) and wholesale distribution markets as well as developing markets for intelligent premises. This encompasses communications, data collection, data mining and all forms of secure payments including mobile commerce service provision (MSP). The company, which evolved from Marconi's telecommunications and payphone businesses, brings a fresh approach to products and services for remote points of sale, including intelligent vending applications. Marconi Online has 15 years of experience in the vending marketplace including over 5 years specific to cold drink systems and intelligent vending applications. Marconi has managed remote terminals for more than 100 customers in over 80 countries. Located in Atlanta, GA; Masterton, N.Z., and Merseyside, U.K. Marconi Online, part of Marconi Commerce Systems headquartered in Greensboro, NC, is the global leader in offering end-to-end technology solutions that provide retailers with ways to offer more convenience and value to their customers. Parent company, Marconi plc is a global communications and IT company, with 49,000 employees worldwide and sales in over 100 countries. It supplies advanced communications solutions and the key technologies and services for the Internet. Marconi plc is listed on the London Stock Exchange and the NASDAQ under the symbol MONI. For more information about Marconi Online, visit

About USA Technologies

USA Technologies is recognized as a leader in cashless transaction and interactive media technology and associated financial services. USA Technologies provides credit card-activated and other cashless systems, allowing end users, ranging from consumers to business professionals, to communicate, conduct business or make ordinary commerce transactions, outside the home or workplace. USA Technologies is an IBM Business Partner and an inaugural member of the Sprint Enabling Application Service Provider Program for e-commerce. It also has established relationships with a number of global IT, multimedia and telecommunications companies, including RadiSys Corporation, Double Click, Inc., and Xerox Corporation. Leading hotel chains, like Marriott, Hilton and Choice Hotels have implemented USA Technologies' cashless transaction technology, in their automated business center solution, Business Express. USA Technologies presently has 11 patents issued and nearly 50 pending in the US and abroad, strengthening its patent position in networked payment systems and protecting its unique e-Port technology. Visit the USA Technologies home page at