Music lovers can keep cash and credit cards at home during this summer’s African National Festival. The RFID solution that the organizer will deploy in the event will allow payment and access control through wristbands, thus reducing waiting time and promoting potential sales.
There will also be beach events during the festival. The cashless payment system for beach events is provided by festicket and is known as “event genius”. This solution provides a variety of functions, including a cashless payment function called event genius pay. According to Lauren Lytle, head of event genius operations, the system is designed to allow festival organizers to combine ticketing, travel, accommodation, access control and marketing functions.
“Our first contact with African countries was when we provided comprehensive services to Ghana,” Lytle recalled The company has deployed a software platform for tickets sold through ticket arena and ticket, as well as providing wristband tickets. Afro nation portal will benefit from the full range of event genius products, including travel packages, access control management and on-site cashless payment. This is the second Afro nation portal Festival, but it is the first time to use RFID to pay without cash.
How the system works
Music fans first buy a paper ticket or receive an electronic ticket that can be provided at the venue. At the time of purchase, fans will be invited to purchase credit vouchers in advance at the time of checkout, which is equivalent to the balance of advance from the credit card, so that customers can purchase goods without money.
Fans can change their paper or electronic tickets to event genius’s RFID wristband at the entrance of the venue. The wristband is equipped with NFC high-frequency RFID Mifare chip complying with ISO 14443 standard. Each ticket holder’s information is linked in the event genius software and applications, and has a unique ID encoded on its wristband RFID chip. If the holder chooses to use the cashless payment service, that information also includes the holder’s identification and prepaid account.
The staff will be equipped with a mobile NFC reading device that runs the event genius application based on Android. The app comes pre loaded with a menu for each vendor site (each location has a different menu loaded before the event), where staff can select items to place in a basket, and then place the wristband on the device for payment. For example, when a customer wants to buy a drink or a T-shirt, the staff can select the product from the menu, the total cost will be displayed on the wrist strap holder, and the wrist strap will be tapped when the customer agrees to buy. Staff trained by the event genius pay operator can use the application to collect money on the device.
After the payment is successful, the staff uses the cashless mobile device to display the balance to the customer, and the customer can receive the purchased food, drink or commodity. Lytle said the process reduces the waiting time of customers, with an average payment time of about 7 seconds.
The exact number of devices to be deployed on the Afro nation portal activity and the place of payment have not been determined. However, a 10000 person Festival requires about five food vendors, three large bars, several smaller bars and possibly paid rides. “We recently launched a cashless theme park project in the Middle East with 90 different rides, all paid for with cashless wristbands,” Lytle said
The system also includes a recharge station in the form of a self-service terminal, where wrist strap users can recharge their prepaid balance. The recharge kiosk is equipped with a built-in NFC reader, which allows the user to tap his own wrist strap at the location indicated by the self-service terminal, then the NFC reader will capture the ID on the wrist strap label of the person, then access the person’s identity, and the touch screen will display information to allow the guest to recharge his / her balance from a credit card or bank account. Users can also view their balance at the top up kiosk.
Lytle predicts that the Afro nation portal event will host thousands of people and each ticket holder will receive a wristband. The wristband will also be used for access control management, so that participants can enter the activity site back and forth according to their own wishes. With this solution, customers do not need to carry cash or bank cards. This activity is likely to reduce queuing time and the risk of theft. Festicket reports that participants are likely to spend more money because of the short queue time. For suppliers, this means that employees spend less time counting and checking cash.
Lytle said that the festival is essentially fast-paced and crowded, and event genius is designed for this special situation. However, such incidents can also pose challenges for technology companies. For the use of RFID, the challenge is to ensure that the equipment is deployed at the right time and place, and to provide training to employees within a few hours.
“Over the past year, we have completed more than 50 cashless activities and encountered many strange and wonderful challenges,” Lytle said. These challenges tend to be successful as projects start. So we won’t know what will happen until we achieve our goals, but we’ve never failed. A key point of this deployment is that there is always the necessary number of on-site operation and maintenance personnel to troubleshoot and communicate with other relevant parties. “