Cashless Ticketing Q&A

Ticketing company Intellitx has been quickly increasing its ability to create cashless events. It wasn’t that long ago when wristbands with RFID chips were experimental, and those promoters who attempted to use them at their events were stuck with hardware and software issues and angry customers. It has become nearly seamless. Intellitix, which has been working with SFX Entertainment, recently made Mysteryland the first fully cashless event in the U.S.

That was followed by one big weekend for the company: it simultaneously provided 160,000 people RFID chipped wristbands for the EDM event TomorrowWorld while, across the Pond, it provided about 100,000 more people with wristbands as they attended golf’s Ryder Cup.

TomorrowWorld used Intellitix’s IntelliPay system, which incorporated 340 point of sale sets and 70 top up stations. The festival introduced mandatory registration with every guest registering their bracelet before the event or onsite at a kiosk. More than 500,000 cashless transactions were made, according to the company. We asked Intellitx CEO Serge Grimaux a few random questions.

Some of the answers went above our head but, then again, we’re still trying to figure out how to program our VCR.

How do receipts work? When I sober up, how much can I find out I used on beer?

Every transaction is logged in the patron’s festival account. If the patron created an account prior to the show they would have the ability to get real-time updates/digital receipts after each purchase. If the patron arrives on-site the day of the event and had not yet created an account, they could create a profile post-event and view all of their transactions online.

What is the exact refund procedure?

From a patron experience, we’ve designed the process to be as smooth as possible. Our best practice is to refund any remaining balance at the end of the show, though this decision is ultimately one for the event organizer to make. If the patron has added credit to his/her account pre-event or on-site using a credit card or their smartphones, the remaining balance is automatically refunded through a credit card transaction – no work required! For patrons that have added funds to their account using cash on-site, they are prompted to complete an online refund form.

Within 10-30 days post-event (at the organizers’ discretion), the patron can expect to receive their unspent funds via a wire transfer (or other payment method of choice).

Can I keep my wristband for future events? If not, where do they go?

This is certainly a possibility, but generally our partners have opted to send out new wristbands for the following year’s events. Many patrons keep these wristbands as souvenirs from the festivals they attend – they make a great keepsake.

What’s the next step? With 160,000 attendees, is there any more levels that need to be looked at cautiously or, at this point, it’s all systems go?

When we serviced TomorrowWorld and The Ryder Cup simultaneously, our system easily serviced 250,000 patrons on two continents in one weekend. The capacity of our platform is virtually limitless, and for us the future means continuing to work with the world’s most acclaimed events, encouraging other events to experience the benefits of going cashless, but also exploring opportunities with new partners, and in new markets. Our success thus far with partners like Taste Festivals, TomorrowWorld, and The Ryder Cup reinforces that the technology is accepted universally at music festivals, food festivals, beer and wine events, and especially sporting events. We’re just getting started.

What are the biggest complaints? What about a grumpy 40-year-old just wanting to swipe a credit card and not desire the intermediary step?

After serving close to 2M people on our IntelliPay system this year, you have to imagine we’ve heard it all! The element that we’ve worked hardest to improve would be crystal-clear instructions/directions to patrons about the event being cashless, and the key benefits to the end user. Without the proper end-user communications plan, you could face the “grumpy 40-year-old” wanting to use the same old method of payment that he/she’s used in the past. However, if the pre-event messaging and communications plan is on point, that patron will understand the personal benefits of the cashless system and will be warm to adopting the technology when on-site.

With the right amount of planning, the end-user hurdles to adopting the technology are eliminated. In fact they absolutely love it! The same goes for the vendors, the event organizers, the commercial partners involved in the events! We are changing the norms of an entire industry; this is what it is all about.