NFC wristbands enhance the festival experience

By Peter Ballard @Ballyfool

MasterCard® PayPass™ a must-have for future live music events

Festival goers in the VIP area at the recent 2011 Isle of Wight Festival put the UK’s first ever MasterCard® PayPass™ prepaid contactless wristbands to the test and rated them as a must-have for future live music events.

Research commissioned by MasterCard and conducted by Foolproof found that festival goers preferred the wristbands to any other payment method on offer. Respondents said they were quicker (96%) and easier to use (98%) than credit or debit cards, with 87% saying it was faster than paying by cash.

A resounding 100% said they’d want to use the PayPass™ prepaid wristbands again to pay at other festivals, concerts and sporting events.

Distributed to people in the VIP enclosure on a first-come, first-served basis, the PayPass™ prepaid wristbands were pre-loaded with £30. To pay, users simply had to tap their PayPass™ prepaid wristband on a specially equipped terminal, removing the need to dip a card, enter a PIN or provide a signature.

Amongst the benefits that festival goers cited for this technology is a reduced need to carry cash or wallet, which means it feels safer than carrying cash, and faster queues in the bars and food areas.

Hany Fam, President of MasterCard UK & Ireland, said: “This project was really the first part of testing consumer acceptance of a truly ‘cashless’ environment, which has been much talked about in the festival world. We look forward to extending the PayPass™ prepaid wristbands to provide access as well as payments at more festivals and events across the UK.”

We have been working with Contactless Payment propositions for some time, and it was great to see it ‘go live’ in the field with this trial. Regular festival goers were very excited about the wristbands, found them extremely easy to use, and could immediately see the benefits. I think we’ll see a lot less sleeping with cash at the bottom of sleeping bags in the future!

Peter Ballard

I co-founded Foolproof with Tom Wood back in 2002. Today I work across a range of clients, particularly in the roles of Experience Planner and Client Partner. In my role as Experience Planner, I ensure that our design teams have access to the right insight to respond appropriately to the business and creative challenges faced by our clients.

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