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How smart card cash technology is changing events

Cheerful young women using credit card for contactless payment in bar. All with casual clothes. Food and drinks on table in front of them. On foreground human hand holding credit card reader. Focus on foreground.

Universal Smart Cards (USC) revealed their revolutionary digital cash system at this year’s World Yoga Festival, held in Reading. The company worked in close partnership with the organisers, in order to trial their of digital cash solution at the event.

A carefully selected panel of volunteers were equipped with the innovative technology and agreed to pay for all of their food and drinks, purchasing only from selected vendors using ‘Universal Cash’. Each consumer using a pre-loaded smart card and amazingly, simple mobile phones were used as merchant terminals.

Cashless vending is widely used across many sectors such as education, government and health to name a few. Many enjoy the simplicity, convenience and efficiency. Organisers of the yoga festival faced all the potential issues created by an outdoor event and by partnering with USC and adopting this technology too they hoped to:

  • Reduce queues caused by slow, transactional cash handling.
  • Increase the financial control of the event.
  • Enhance the safety and security of all involved

Approximately 200 people obtained refreshments from 9 vendors. In an area with unreliable mobile coverage, all transactions had to be possible offline and onsite also top-ups had to be readily available. The challenge had been set.

Universal Cash is the future for event organisation

The volunteers had loaded a selected amount at the event onto a contactless smartcard or wristband. The wristbands were particularly suited to this kind of large event, the user feeling far more secure not carrying cash.

Authorised staff provided top-ups at the event using USC supplied generic NFC mobile devices as merchant terminals and load stations. The use of smartphone based merchants ensured no disruptions due to network outage or unavailability. Vendors were delighted by the ease and speed and were particularly pleased with reduced merchant fees. At the conclusion of the 3 day event, all redemptions were totalled and paid by direct bank transfer.

Costs were monitored all the way down to individual purchases leaving merchants asking why this isn’t available at all events.

Ramanuj Banerjee, the Co-Founder World Yoga Festival said:

“We had limited ATM facilities on site and this limited cash expenditure by festival goers with merchants that did not accept bank cards. We have therefore decided to enlarge the system next year for all festival goers by enabling all merchants with terminals. We expect this to increase turnover for our merchants. The Universal Cash system is easy to deploy and easy to use. If you are using papers coupons and vouchers you need to understand the greater convenience and control possible through the Universal Cash system being offered by Universal Smart Cards.”

With substantial queue reduction and the threat of theft virtually eliminated, our consumers felt safe and satisfied.

The marketing and sponsorship opportunities with universal cash are huge and with reduced cash handling, automated revenue and simple card management, more and more events will take the cashless option. With the ability to conduct thousands of contactless transactions over the course of a festival or event, the savings on merchant costs alone could be significant.

Offering personalised items such as branded or designed wristbands at your event, can now enable you to control attendees through access control barriers, pay for their food and drinks and top-up with credit when they spend more than planned.

As the Yogis went home with a final Namaste, the successful collaboration indicated that Universal Smart Cards leads the market in new cashless technology and will change the landscape of event management completely.

And for festival going veterans, those who spend hours waiting in the queue as coin counting individuals hold everything up, this can only be a good thing.

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