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Why cashless festivals are on the rise

Posted on 9th May 2018 Posted in Blog

Picture it: you’re at a festival, it’s a boiling hot day. You decide to take a break and go and queue for an ice cream - great idea - you think. But, everyone else is feeling the same as you, and what you thought might be a small wait, ends up taking significantly longer than expected.

Finally you reach the end, but you’re told those dreaded words “CASH ONLY”. It’s a common scenario, but thankfully one that has started to change. Alternative payment methods have now seeped into the festival scene in a big way. And at Payzone, we think this is fantastic for the fun loving festival goers and the vendors themselves. So, why are cashless festivals on the rise?

RFID technology

One of the most significant reasons for explaining the rise of cashless festivals is the technology that has emerged to replace cash. RFID has come in and shown itself to be a much quicker and convenient alternative to cash at festivals. RFID stands for Radio Frequency Identification and it allows festival goers to make payments via wristbands, which can be topped up by an event currency. Payments can then be made through a simple tap from one of these wristbands. These have become very popular at many festivals and according to a piece in Intellix:

“Has proven that vendors and organisers can gain an increase of 15-30% in on-site revenue from cashless systems compared to traditional forms of payment at an event”

Adaptable technology specific to festivals is a significant factor to explain the rise of cashless festivals.

Reduces staggered queues and make sales faster

The use of RFID is important, but it is not just the technology itself, but rather, it is the reasons for adapting to these new methods which explain why more festivals are going cashless. And one significant reason for this was actually alluded to earlier. Nobody likes waiting in a long line to get something small like a bottle of water or a sandwich. And vendors really don’t like this either.

There is a lot of effort that comes with accepting cash on site at a festival. A vendor needs to operate a till, which can be a significant undertaking with customers who expect to get their food or drink quickly. Operating in a cashless festival can remove these barriers.

Less cash on site means better security

Think about it, vendors who accept just cash on festival sites, with thousands of people, is an invitation for theft. Adopting cashless mechanisms like RFID at festivals means that vendors don’t need to concern themselves with the possibility of getting cash stolen onsite. This is also excellent for festival attendees who want to let loose, but are concerned about dropping their wallets and losing their money. Cashless festivals eliminates these concerns and creates greater opportunities for more money to be spent. In many ways, it’s a win win situation - for the customer and the vendor.

Greater digital reach

In a piece written for Canadian Music Week, digital connectivity from RFID wristbands is cited as another significant factor to explain the rise of cashless festivals.

“Most RFID systems we’ve provided wristbands for, have had the capability of integrating with numerous other digital platforms. Spotify, Facebook, Instagram, Shazam, Deezer, iBeacons, LED lights, and BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) are just some of the technologies we’ve seen integrated across one single RFID system and one single RFID wristband”

The level of connectivity created from RFID to brands and sponsors creates unparalleled digital reach to new consumers. And whilst this isn’t necessarily a direct benefit to the vendors who come and pitch up, it does explain why event organisers and sponsors are so keen to take advantage of the greater marketing opportunities that come with cashless festivals.

Payzone may not offer festival wristbands, but we do offer a wide variety of cashless card payment solutions that could help your business.

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