By David Kenny, Country Manager (UK) of TicketCo

Wristbands and top-up cards were widely heralded as the future for festival and event organisers seeking to go cashless.

But in 2019 we will see a continued transition towards more event organisers turning to new cloud-based technology to manage cashless transactions.

RFID Wristbands (or top-up cards) do provide a significant improvement on having to manage cash and card payments for event organisers. And despite the high investment costs they remain very popular for corporate events. However, festivals and the like are now seeking better ways to eradicate every event goers’ pet-hates: queues and cash.


As technology continues to evolve new systems are entering the market that enable organisers to sell not just tickets and food and drink, but also merchandise and additional up-sell products from travel to accommodation.

Smart phone and touch and pay technology are providing event organisers with various platforms to process transactions and crowds quicker and thus improve the event-goer experience.

Many of us are now used to making purchases via our smart phones, as a natural progression from contactless payments with our bank debit cards.

Event cloud-based payment technology works in a similar way to other daily payment platforms consumers will be familiar with, for example purchasing a train ticket where a QR code is generated and acts as a digital ticket.

It is this sort of technology which is gaining traction in the events industry and enabling event organisers to reduce the use not just of cash, but alternatives like wristbands and top-up cards. Our technology is now also enabling event organisers to automatically refund any unused credit to its customers at the end of the event.

Transactions with QR codes are also pretty much instant and much easier and quicker than using systems like RFID (radio frequency identification). I’ve seen first-hand both as an event organiser and a punter what a difference such technology can make to the overall success of an event.

Wristbands will continue to serve a purpose in the event space, but with technology moving apace it will be interesting to see how the payment side of the industry evolves this year.

As a consumer society we are not only seeing the final stages of cash, but also witnessing the rapid progression of cashless alternatives. We have experienced contactless card payments, top-up cards and wrist-bands through to mobile-phone and cloud technology.

People rarely carry cash nowadays. But they carry a mobile phone.

And they expect fast transactions and short queues and technology is finding more and more ways to solve these issues.

David Kenny is Country Manager (UK) of TicketCo, an events payment company

Adam is the co-founder and editor of Adam, a technology evangelist also organises Event Tech Live, Europe’s only show dedicated to event technology and the Event Technology Awards. Both events take place in November, London.