Large concert and festival organizers have been issuing RFID-enabled wristbands for ticketing so attendees don’t have to worry about losing paper tickets. As an added utility, these same wristbands often enable a user to check in at different stages or performances and have that info posted on social media sites.
Adding payments to these wristbands has been on the wish list for some time now, but has yet to see deployment. Payments company Sthaler wants to make purchases easier at festivals by enabling a biometric option, says Nick Dryden, CEO at Sthaler. Instead of having to carry a payment card or cash around a music fest Sthaler partnered with Hitachi and BT to create a biometric option using finger vein biometrics.
“What we wanted was something that was convenient, fast and didn’t require you to carry anything around,” Dryden explained.
The system was used at the UK’s Festival Number 6 in Portmeiron, Dryden says. The system was used to enroll performing musicians as well as allow attendees to pre-register a card and then enroll the biometric upon arrival at the festival.
The attendees pre-register a credit card by going to the festival’s web site and entering payment data. Once at the festival the individual shows a photo ID, has their biometric data enrolled, tethering it to the payment card. “It takes about 15 seconds and then they’re off paying with their finger,” Dryden says. Some 300 attendees used the system.
The system uses Hitachi’s finger vein biometrics technology. The system doesn’t take a scan of the individual’s fingerprint but rather captures the vein pattern within the finger. The system was deployed at some of the bars scattered throughout the festival grounds.
In the future the system could be used for ticketing and potentially even identification, Dryden says. If an individual is found unconscious they could be indentified via their finger vein biometric. It would also prevent people from passing paper tickets or RFID wristbands back and forth preventing ticketing fraud.
Sthaler is also working on a mobile version of the system that could be used with smart phones or tablets, Dryden says.