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Event Industry Trends – Cashless Events

In recent years, more and more events are going cashless, opting for digital payment methods instead. This shift is driven by several factors, including convenience, security (removing such a need for event insurance against lost cash), and cost-effectiveness. In this blog post, we will discuss why events are going cashless, the payment/POS options available, the advantages and drawbacks of going cashless, and internet connectivity considerations.


July 4, 2024

Why are Events Going Cashless?


There are several reasons why events are going cashless. One of the primary reasons is convenience. Cashless payment methods, such as contactless and RFID, allow for quick and easy transactions, reducing wait times and improving the overall customer experience. Additionally, cashless events reduce the need for cash handling, increasing security and reducing the risk of theft. It also removes so much requirement for lost money insurance, which can be bought alongside event cancellation insurance or public liability insurance for events and protects against money that is lost or stolen at an event.


Another reason for the shift to cashless events is cost-effectiveness. Handling and processing cash can be costly for event organisers, requiring additional staff and equipment. Cashless payment methods, on the other hand, can be more efficient and cost-effective, reducing expenses and increasing revenue.


Payment/POS Options


When it comes to cashless events, there are two primary payment/POS options available: RFID and contactless. RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) uses radio waves to communicate between a tag and a reader, allowing for quick and easy transactions. Contactless payment, on the other hand, uses near-field communication (NFC) technology to enable payments with a tap or wave of a card or mobile device.


The most widely used form of cashless payments at events is contactless. This technology is almost ubiquitous – with most attendees willing to use a contactless debit/credit card or mobile device for payments. To accept contactless payments at your event, it’s a simple case of ensuring you have enough contactless-enabled payment terminals at your bars, catering, and retail outlets. For events looking to go cashless, this is often the simplest place to start.


The alternative to now-ubiquitous contactless payments is RFID. This usually comes in the form of a wristband issued to attendees, with a built-in RFID chip that holds their payment information. Events using RFID usually use a specialist contractor to provide the technology and infrastructure required. There are advantages and disadvantages to consider: Proprietary RFID tech can offer broader and better functionality than contactless, for example better real-time sales reporting, and bolt-on functions such as accreditation, access control, and attendee identification. It also carries the significant advantage that attendees are not required to carry their personal credit/debit card or mobile device – which may be particularly attractive at large public events, or sporting events such as obstacle races. Having said this, it’s worth bearing in mind that proprietary RFID technology may require attendees to set up an online account and load funds manually. This represents a “barrier” to on-site spending which may be undesirable for event organisers. The technology and infrastructure for RFID payments has a cost attached, and so suppliers of these services will require a fee to be paid – which should be considered as part of your wider event budget.


Advantages and Drawbacks of Going Cashless


There are several advantages to going cashless. As mentioned earlier, cashless events offer increased convenience and security, reducing the risk of theft and improving the customer experience. Cashless events also offer greater flexibility, allowing customers to pay with various digital methods, including mobile wallets and credit/debit cards.


However, there are also some drawbacks to going cashless. One of the primary concerns is accessibility, as not all customers may have access to digital payment methods. Additionally, internet connectivity can be an issue in some locations, limiting the availability and reliability of cashless payment options. Event organisers should ensure that there are alternative payment options available for those who cannot or prefer not to use digital payment methods.


Internet Connectivity Considerations


Internet connectivity is a crucial consideration for cashless events. Reliable internet connectivity is necessary to ensure that cashless payment methods are available and functioning correctly. Event organisers must ensure that there is adequate internet infrastructure in place, and typically should engage an expert contractor to provide this service. Additionally, event organisers must have a backup plan in case of internet connectivity issues, such as a secondary internet connection or alternative payment options.


In Conclusion, cashless events are becoming increasingly popular, driven by convenience, security, and cost-effectiveness. RFID and contactless payment methods are the primary options for cashless events, offering increased flexibility and improved customer experience. However, event organisers must consider accessibility and internet connectivity issues to ensure that all attendees can participate in cashless transactions. If you are not cashless you should definitely consider event insurance to cover lost cash at your event. Overall, going cashless can be a significant step forward for event organisers, offering numerous benefits to both customers and organisers alike.


Hear from event organisers about the behind the scenes madness that comes with organising events, large or small, from music festivals to conferences, the insurance required for events, the chaos of the day itself, and the highs and lows of event organising, on Freddie’s podcast, WHEN SH*T GOES WRONG AT EVENTS.

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