We just noticed these today at the Huangpi Nan Lu metro stop. They very well could have already been there for a while, but this was the first day in a few weeks that we needed to recharge our transportation card. The machines are located right next to the two service windows we would normally go to (and today were closed).
The recharge machines are very easy to use, in English or Chinese, and basically work like an ATM machine, except money goes into the machine instead of out. Today, at least, they were even easier to use than normal, because there was a lady wearing a red sash standing there who spoke English and pressed all the buttons for people. We imagine they won’t be there every day — but we do wonder what happens to the ladies who work inside the non-self-service booths once their jobs are phased out (which seems to be inevitably what we are heading toward). Is it wishful thinking to assume they will then be responsible for making sure people line up in an orderly fashion behind the new machines?
If our camera phone took halfway decent photographs indoors, you would see what these machines look like in the attached photograph.