FUTURISTIC VENDING MACHINE - The use of interactive kiosks is soaring, particularly for retail businesses, according to a study by consulting firm Frost & Sullivan in Mountain View, Calif. In 1996, the interactive kiosk market reached $369.7 million, and is expected to grow to $2.94 billion in 2003, said the report. Kiosks are generally desktop computers with a hard drive, keyboard and compact disk read-only memory (CD-ROM) drive. The user employs a touch screen, keypad, keyboard, magnetic card reader, pointing device, microphone, camera or a combination to communicate with the kiosk.
ADP OFFERS NEW F&I SOFTWARE - The Dealer Services Group of Automatic Data Processing Inc. in Hoffman Estates, Ill., has signed an agreement with a Fresno, Calif., software company to market its F&I software. Grapevine - a client/server Windows-based software produced by Data Consultants - will be renamed 'F&I Advisor.' The software is designed to help finance managers walk their customers through the F&I process. It can calculate payment quotes for many different terms and make lease-to-buy comparisons. ADP would not disclose the price.
AUTO-BY-TEL INKS DEAL WITH KEY - KeyCorp of Cleveland has signed an agreement with Irvine, Calif.-based Internet car buying service Auto-By-Tel to provide finance programs on the Web. Key AutoFinance, which serves 6,000 dealers in 45 states and has a $3.7 billion portfolio, will offer credit application and special financing as part of the Auto-By-Tel Acceptance Corp. program. Chase Manhattan Bank of Garden City, N.Y., also is taking part in the program.