2012 will be a break out year for cashless music festivals, thanks to the success of contactless wristbands at the 2011 Isle of Wight Festival in June, reports NFC World.
Intelligent Venue Solutions (IVS) partnered with MasterCard to provide Isle of Wight attendees with PayPass-enabled wristbands pre-loaded with £30. Fans participating in the pilot could quickly and conveniently purchase food and drinks by simply tapping the wristbands against a reader.
According to IVS, the wristbands were overwhelmingly popular with concertgoers, who said they would “definitely use it again” at future events. Lucky for them, they’ll be available again next year at the Isle of Wight Festival, says IVS’s Paul Pike.
According to Pike, contactless systems provide an advantage over closed loop systems like vouchers and tokens in that the currency doesn’t become useless outside of the venue. Also, the need to exchange cash for vouchers and tokens creates yet another queue that fans have to deal with.
Pike added that by 2013, greater use of NFC payments on the mobile phone will make the cashless systems even more accessable.
“NFC payments are the ultimate goal for cashless festivals,” said Pike. “A mobile wallet on the phone will solve a lot of problems. Everyone walks around festivals with their phones, whereas many are more reluctant to walk around with their cash cards. NFC-enabled mobiles can be combined with somet