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ParkPass Automates Access Control, Payments and Entertainment

Montreal-based NFC solutions company Connect&GO is marketing a system for parks and festivals that offers an à la carte solution featuring a single cloud-based platform to allow attendees to access the site, purchase snacks, or use games and photo booths.
By Claire Swedberg
Jul 03, 2018

Near Field Communication (NFC)-based solutions for access to theme parks and festivals, as well as systems using the same technology for snack bar or gift shop payments and other services, traditionally require installation, integration and sometimes several technology providers to cobble together the desired features. That's the contention of technology company Connect&GO, which has designed a cloud-based, single-platform solution to cover three applications at a single site, with a very simple installation and a cost of less than one or two dollars per ticket holder, depending on the number of applications being used.

The solution, known as Parkpass, is a software platform aimed at three use cases: access control, cashless payments and experiential activations. The system, launched last year (see Connect&Go Offers RFID Wristbands for Amusement and Water Parks) provides park and event attendees with an NFC-enabled wristband that they can use to enter an event, make purchases without cash, and activate games, contests and other experiences that they might also share on social media.

The Parkpass wristband
The system is designed to coordinate a variety of contactless features, which can include opening lockers, such as at a water park, as well as access to an online photo album and safety features for children. For park managers, it's about analytics and the data they can employ to better understand traffic movement, what interests attendees and how they can increase sales onsite.

Connect&GO, a spinoff company from RFID Academia, has offered software, as well as NFC-enabled wristbands and readers, for about five years (see Osheaga Music Festival to Include New NFC-enabled Features). The firm serves amusement parks, sporting events, concerts, festivals and family entertainment centers. Its NFC solution has been used for some or all three functions—access control, payments and electronic experiences—at sites including Canada House at this year's Winter Olympics village.

In November 2017, Connect&GO first released its Parkpass system, centered around providing a single, easy point of entry at a cost of about 50 cents per wristband and per function, says Anthony Palermo, the company's CEO. "The system is designed to be simple and easy to deploy," he states. With Parkpass, users can simply fill out a questionnaire about their facility and the types of services they want to provide. Connect&GO will then configure the solution and provide the NFC readers (using off-the-shelf technology) to be utilized by park employees. The readers can be set up at gates, points of sale or kiosks, while staff members can carry handheld readers to scan wristbands as well.

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