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Cashless Festivals – Solutions at Festivals Offer More Than Just Cashless Transactions

July 3rd, 2012 at 4:41 pm

Cashless payment options are starting to crop up at events across the world – like the Olympics. Large events are often perfect settings for cashless payment, so it may not come as a surprise that many of those events are music festivals. However, the cashless solutions at these festivals offer more functionality than just cashless transactions – access control and cashless payment are rolled into one.

Cashless FestivalsThese systems are designed using the wristbands that all festival attendees are already wearing. Traditional wristbands served only as a visual identifier of who was a paid ticketholder, but in recent years these have frequently been replaced by RFID wristbands. The chip in each wristband can be quickly scanned, so these wristbands have greatly improved the efficiency and effectiveness of access control at festivals. Lines move quicker, and the readers can’t be easily duped by fake wristbands so security is tighter. As an added bonus the RFID wristbands allow festivals to track the flow of entries and exits, which can provide valuable insight into the logistics of when and where patrons are entering the venue. The RFID chips can even be used to allow attendees to check in at specific shows or record their reactions to certain installations and share them on Facebook and Twitter.

The addition of RFID chips to the wristbands also allows them to be used for cashless payment systems – patrons can choose to link their wristbands to their credit cards and vendors simply have to scan the RFID chips to complete the transaction. Since many festival-goers are wary of carrying cash or even a credit card, using the wristbands they’re already wearing at all times is a perfect solution.

The Isle of Wight Festival in the UK was one of the first to offer cashless payment via wristbands, and Canada’s Ottawa Bluesfest has announced that this year’s event, which begins tomorrow, will offer cashless payment as well. RFID wristbands have already been adopted by many major US festivals, including Bonnaroo, Coachella, Lollapalooza, and SXSW, while UK’s Glastonbury seems poised to introduce the wristbands starting next year. Some festivals in the UK may even go completely cashless, with cash payments no longer an option.

Access control and cashless payment combined? We love it – it’s a one badge solution! Or a one wristband solution.

Tell us what you think – if a system like this was offered at an event you were attending, would you sign up?

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