Fenbrook Consulting helps event and festival organisers to introduce modern ticketing solutions and cashless payment. Many festival organisers like the idea of cashless payment, because:
- They avoid the costs (security, transport, insurance, theft, even armed robbery) of cash
- The user experience is enhanced, and if customers aren’t queuing to use ATMs or to buy tokens they could be spending more money
- There is much evidence that people spend more (around 20%) using cards or other tokens rather than hard cash
However, only a few promoters so far see cash removal as a compelling enough reason on its own to make the change. Large festivals can take many thousands in a weekend, so this is a sum of money not to be tinkered with without a good reason. Fortunately, there are 2 good reasons:
- Organisers want to find ways of increasing the revenue from each customer. Big festivals sell out in days, or even hours, so to generate more money, they have to offer tempting products & services, which means they have to understand their customers better. Cashless payment can be a way of obliging customers to register, in a way that subsequently enables their purchases and even movements to be tracked. Large organisers are looking very closely at this.
- Organisers want to maximise revenue from on site traders. These are usually small 3rd party businesses which traditionally accept only cash and don’t have any accounting processes. Organisers want to charge a percentage of takings, rather than a fixed site fee, which is currently more common, to get a better share of the revenue from the event they’re putting on. Cashless payment can be a way of introducing transparency into all spend at the event.
So the trend is towards cashless payment at events, starting cautiously but then rolling out.
Closed Loop or Open Loop?
Organisers also need to think about whether they want an open or closed loop solution. A closed loop scheme would only be able to be used within an event, and you would have to make provision for returning all unspent balances at the end of the event. This is a more limited but lower cost option. In an open loop scheme the contactless payment instrument (card, wristband, mobile app) can be used after the event at any merchant accepting the scheme products. This opens up the possibility of cross promotion with outlets in the vicinity of the festival, such as nightclubs, restaurants and hotels.
Know Your Customer Better
Not having to handle large volumes of cash is beneficial but the true benefit to organisers is the life-time value of the customer and understanding their customer’s behaviour. The organisers can track our festival-goer’s preferences and buying habits e.g. he chose to listen to jazz rather than a rock band and bought a fruit smoothie rather than cider. All the data can be captured, stored and analysed and after the event, then the organisers can present ongoing opportunities based on reliable customer information.
Trevor Crotch-Harvey has over seventeen years experience in Radio Frequency Identification, Smart Cards, the mobile wallet and Event Ticketing and is a consultant for MasterCard’s PayPass, a contactless payment solution. He has written a detailed manual on how to implement contactless payment and ticketing at events, and how to minimise risks and pitfalls.
Together with his associates at Fenbrook Consulting he can advise on:
- The best business model for your events
- Security and crowd control issues
- Post event marketing to increase customer value and sales
- Closed loop contactless payment solutions
Benefits of using RFID and contactless payment at cash dominated environments
- Increased speed of throughput at entry gates
- Reduced staffing costs
- Minimised Ticket fraud
- Low maintenance costs
- Increased CRM- better ongoing and personalised relationship with the customer
- Increased throughput at bars and food outlets resulting in greater revenue
- Reduced risk of robbery
- Reduced costs of handling cash- everything is taken care of seamlessly behind the scenes
- Better transparency of trader revenue
Say Goodbye to Queues
“Trevor has carried out a number of projects for MasterCard supporting the development of various new MasterCard® PayPass™ products. He has demonstrated detailed knowledge of the subject matter important to us for these projects and provided us with useful insights, helping us to develop market orientated solutions around these products.”
– Colin Tanner, MasterCard®