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Jika Jika!, Other U.K. Festivals See Boost in Spending With NFC

This summer's music festival in Northern Ireland experienced a 23 percent increase in sales per person, thanks to an NFC-enabled cashless payment system from Event Genius.
By Claire Swedberg

At each vendor's kiosk, a user could place an order and present his or her wristband to the Famoco handheld reader. The amount of the purchase would then be deducted from the prepaid account in the back-end software, and would also be rewritten to the wristband. With the account balance stored on the bracelet itself, the system can be used even without a connection to the back-end software—in other words, events without a Wi-Fi or stable Internet connection could still utilize the technology.

If a guest drained his or her balance and wanted to add credit, he or she could proceed to a top-up station, where as many as 15 staff members were on hand during peak times. The workers could accept cash or credit-card information, and could use the handheld reader to update the wristband's balance. Any guests with remaining funds on their balance at the end of the event could go online to request a refund, or have an employee provide a refund onsite.

Event Genius's Lauren Lytle
During the event, there were approximately 200 Famoco Android-based devices used at bars, vendors and top-up areas. Readers were deployed by approximately 10 vendors, including at two large bars across the site. None required early installation or integration. "One nice part about our solution is that there's no need to do any installation ahead of time," Lytle says, such as running power cables or connecting readers to the Internet. "It's all about training the staff," she adds, and the system is then ready to go live.

Event Genius also provides a suite of reporting features, so festivals such as Jika Jika! can view spending activities with the wristbands. "That gives them a view of spending patterns over time," Lytle explains, as well as specifics such as sales at particular times or locations.

The average increase in revenue at events using the company's cashless solution is about 25 percent, Lytle reports—In the future, the firm plans to offer an integrated system for both cashless payments and ticketing. "I think the more you can integrate, the more valuable your data becomes," she says. For instance, the flow of people into the event could then be compared to subsequent sales.

Jika Jika!'s management did not respond to requests for comment for this story.

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