The present invention relates to a universal advertising and payment system and method for networking, monitoring, collecting data, selling goods and services, controlling interactive advertising, controlling and effectuating electronic commerce and controlling vending equipment including cold drink and snack style vending machines. In addition the present invention relates to a universal advertising and payment system and method for networking, monitoring and effectuating e-mail, e-commerce, and e-business and controlling vending equipment and applications. The system can effectuate electronic commerce and interactive advertising at the point of sale. Vending equipment includes copiers, phones (public, private, cellular), facsimile machines, printers, data-ports, laptop print stations, notebook computers, palmtop computers (PALM PILOT), microfiche devices, projectors, scanners, cameras, modems, communication access, personal data assistants (PDA's), pagers, and other vending machines, personal computers (PC), PC terminals (NET PC), and network computers (NC). Vending equipment can be networked to each other through a first network, programmable and accessible by a PC, server, point of sale (POS) system, property or management information system (PMS/MIS), and networked to a second network. The first network and second network can be the same network. Complete control of a vending machine's functionality including usage, control, diagnostics, inventory, and marketing data capture can be effectuated locally or by remote connection to the network. Remote connection to the network includes Internet type connections, telecommunication (telephone, ISDN, ADSL), VSAT satellite, and other wire and wireless transmission.