If this is what you want to pursue for your own Honor Snack business, good luck and God Bless. More power to ya'! But why don't you pursue your idea first and THEN share the excitement and results with the community. I don't want to see other small honor snack businesses fail, even though YOU are prepared to fail (which I understand is how we learn and move forward).
Don't really understand THIS comparison. No one is claiming that ANYTHING is unsinkable (or the perfect solution). What I am explaining is that your idea is NOT new, it's been tried with no success. It would be more like Coca-Cola trying to reintroduce New Coke again, only hoping it didn't fail this time. I'm sure the "Experts" would say "Sorry, No. Been there, done that!"
If your would like TRUE, HONEST, CONSTRUCTIVE FEEDBACK, I would be more than happy to share. I could save you a TON of money and heartache regarding these two ideas.
I would think that with your business education and experience, that you would see that the Card Reader idea would NEVER pan out. It just the simple rule of ROI, Return on Investment. An average Honor box will generate roughly $20 per service. Once shortage and inventory costs are figured, you may be looking at $9-10 GROSS Profit. Now, a card reader will run you between $250-300, PLUS a monthly service fee, let's say $8 (they can be anywhere from $5-12/month). You ALSO have the 3-4% of sales that you have to give the credit processing. An honor box simply could NOT sustain the expense. And all this BEFORE you even get to the real "nuts and bolts" expenses.
Again, the BEAUTY of the Honor Snack industry is it's SIMPLISTIC service concept and it's LOW investment (no equipment). You see...I am running the everyday Luxury Steamliner and YOU are building the TITANIC. I am only trying to point out the 500 Icebergs that are in your way.
More like " Ay Caramba!" But seriously, I would be happy to give feedback that will greatly help you and your Honor Snack business. Please feel free to message me any time.
Just my 2 cents!