vending machines are sooo convenient and even more so now with e-money. Just press your "train pass" or mobile phone to the machine and instant payment. No loose change to manage etc.
Some machines (e.g. storage lockers at the train station etc) allow you to call a phone number and the charge goes on your monthly statement. But I like the e-money... You just charge your card (my card also serves as a train pass between fixed points A and B or any segment between the points. If I go out of that area then the extra amount is "deducted" from my card. The card also works in convienence stores - for example to buy the morning newspaper.
The same system works on the toll roads, where you put a card (with some e-money) in a reader in the car and when you drive thru it deducts from the card. This card also can refill itself against any credit card you register with the "system". You never see money anymore.... very convenient...
I have not seen a gold bar vending machine like I have read about in the middle east, but almost anything is fair game for a vending machine
I try to post another example soon....