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Ann WilkinsonMar 4, 2022 12:13:52 PM4 min read

RFID technology at events - why it's not just cashless payments

If you think that RFID wristband technology is just about cashless payments - then read on. RFID wristband technology is reshaping the way event organisers manage access control, cashless payments, audience engagement and consumer data collection & analysis at events. 

Creating a RFID cashless payment environment at your festival or event can open up a wide range of opportunities and enhancements for organisers.

When looking for an RFID supplier, it's important to consider how you want to use RFID at your event. Is it just about cashless payments? Are you looking to improve entry and access control? Perhaps you want to drive brand activation and fan engagement too. 

Let’s look at these different applications of RFID technology in some more detail:

RFID for cashless payments

RFID cashless payment events can provide an excellent experience for organisers and attendees alike. Cashless payments open up opportunities to increase revenue whilst reducing operational costs. Your guests enjoy faster entry, shorter lines, quicker transaction time at the bars and vendors, and a convenient, highly secure method of payment.

How RFID for cashless payments works

Guests pre-load credit to an account. This could be far in advance of the event. This credit is then stored onto the RFID tag - which is typically used in a wristband / bracelet. When the guest buys something - such as food, drink or merchandise, the amount is deducted from the RFID tag balance. 

The benefits

We discuss the benefits of implementing cashless payments here. If we had to pick a top 5 benefits of RFID for organisers, then they are:

  • Increase revenue by 22% on average, sometimes as much as 30%.
  • Reduce operational costs by on average 5%-8%. Cost savings are made from no cash handling, improved reconciliation, elimination of fraud and theft.
  • Speed up transaction times and reduce queues.
  • RFID works offline, so no wifi investment required - perfect for greenfield sites and large scale events.
  • Real-time reporting allows for easy reconciliation and a wealth of customer data.

RFID for event access control and zone management

Access control can often be overlooked by organisers, but if mismanaged,  can have a negative impact on the event experience. And no one wants to have 100s of guests complaining about your poor event organisation on social media.

RFID technology can be used for event access control, providing a safer and more secure environment for everyone. 

How access control works

Integrate your events ticketing & zone access along with cashless payments for a single contactless ecosystem. 

Different access levels can be added onto each RFID bracelet, granting access to different areas of your event, such as backstage, VIP zones or artist hospitality areas. Customise access control to ensure the right people have the right access.

The wristband is scanned at entry and various restricted areas around the site. In this way, the wristband can either simply allow or deny someone access to an area and paper or electronic tickets aren’t required.

The benefits

  • Promote a safer environment for ticket-holders and staff.
  • Speed up entry and reduce waiting times at restricted areas.
  • It’s easier for security or staff to manage access control points.
  • Prevent overcrowding, manage crowd flow and alleviate pressure points to ensure safe movement around the site with real-time data analysis.
  • Post event analysis. With detailed analytics on crowd flow, you can easily identify learnings for your next event. 
  • Manage unruly attendees. Live cancellation means you can stop entry with the click of a button.

    RFID for Brand amplification

    The world is becoming increasingly digital and brand partnerships have become the mainstay of live events. As a result, event organisers are looking for new and innovative ways to amplify brand sponsorships.

    RFID brand amplification offers the opportunity to bridge the digital & real world to bring sponsors and fans closer together and deliver sponsors with real-world data to prove ROI.

    How RFID for brand amplification works

    RFID offers a range of brand amplification opportunities. For example, social media ‘check-in zones’, voting, gamification and photo booth stations. Events can even create their own event currency for an immersive experience. Creating a personal event currency means customers think less about the money they are spending and buy more into your brand. 

The benefits

  • Connect with guests through interactive brand experiences. 
  • Increase online impressions with social media integration. Social media check-ins, likes and branded photo uploads at the event for example.
  • Increase sponsorship revenue. Your audience can be highly profiled and activations can be more targeted.
  • Give sponsors measurable and tangible analytics-based insights. The return on investment is transparent and quantifiable. Demonstrate the impact of sponsorship deals and attract new potential sponsors with use cases.
  • A branded wristband opens up a new opportunity for sponsors.


RFID technology opens up a host of opportunities to deliver a first-class event that your guests will want to return to time and time again. RFID cashless payments, access control and brand amplification are all possibilities, the choice comes down to what your objectives are.

If you’re simply looking to remove cash from your event or venue, then RFID cashless payments will suffice. If you want to track crowd flow across the event site or eliminate ticket fraud for example, then access control would be a worthwhile investment. If increasing value for your sponsors is an overriding priority, then brand amplification should also be considered.

It’s important to review your goals and objectives, be clear about what you are trying to achieve with an RFID implementation and decide what’s most important to you. 

If you’d like to discuss RFID cashless payments, access control or brand amplification in more detail with us, then please get in touch.

Back to: The complete guide to RFID technology for events