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Sales Up By 40 Percent for New York Venues With RFID Wristband

Billfold POS's HF RFID-based solution allows concert-goers to make credit card payments for food, beverages and merchandise at Brooklyn Mirage and similar venues, thereby reducing payment times to less than five seconds and reducing or eliminating queues.
By Claire Swedberg

The first deployment was at Avant Gardner's Brooklyn Mirage, an outdoor space that operates during summer months. The company has since expanded the Billfold POS system across all three of its venues. Avant Gardner is a three-year-old venue. The company's founders initially operated with large-scale warehouse events, then expanded to a popup summer venue as a proof-of-concept in 2015, before the permanent venue opened in 2017, Naughton says. The firm was soon hosting 4,000-plus-attendee parties at a rate of two to three events weekly.

As a result, Avant Gardner now operates the three venues on a full city block in Brooklyn. As a popup party business, the company had offered cash-only and credit card payment models for its events. The transactions were slowed with the large volume of attendees, however, and it began investigating the Billfold POS solution.

Many wristband payment solutions consist of a "top-up" system, by which individuals must set up a pre-purchased balance, such as $50 or $100, that they expect to spend onsite. If they go over that amount, they must top up the balance with a credit card, or if they under-spend, they must seek a refund. That process leads some attendees to be more careful about how they spend their money. Billfold POS, on the other hand, directly links a customer's wristband with his or her credit card. If the customer doesn't purchase anything, there is no effect on that credit card account, while if he or she is spending freely, spending will be limited only by the credit card account policy.

At Avant Gardner's sites, individuals can purchase a ticket to a concert online or at the door. In either case, they are then provided with a wristband containing a built-in 13.56 MHz HF RFID tag compliant with the ISO 15693 and 14443 standards. They can then enter and proceed to one of numerous kiosks installed at the door. The kiosks have built-in HF RFID readers which capture the wristband's ID when a guest holds it near the kiosk, and the user can swipe a credit card, provide an e-mail for receipts and create a four-digit PIN for authentication with each purchase.

When an attendee buys food, beverages or merchandise, he or she places an order and the terminal displays the sales details on the vendor- and customer-facing screens. A guest scans the wristband and provides the four-digit PIN while workers prepare the order, after which the transaction is complete.

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