The Visible Value Blog

It’s All in the Wrist: Cashless Payment Wristbands

Posted by Danielle Kennedy

Jul 1, 2011 9:09:00 AM

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Spending the day at the water park usually means dealing with crowds of people, putting your belongings in a locker and your cash in a zip-lock bag that you hope doesn’t get lost in the wave pool.

There’s no saving you from the crowds, but cashless wristbands can save your guests the trouble of cash management at the park. Connecting your customers with bar coded wristbands that are tied into your POS systems and preloaded with their credit cards, eliminates the need to pull out cash for those rides and concessions.

It seems to be a new trend for businesses to utilize cashless wristbands for contactless payment at many different venues such as water parks, concerts, festivals, amusement parks, hotels and other hospitality and entertainment companies.

Recently, the RFID Journal reported on the use of cashless wristbands for visitors at the Isle of Wright Festival in the UK. The wristbands, preloaded with £30 ($48), were a huge hit. MasterCard, who powered the project, asked the wristband wearers what they thought about the bands. 100% of the visitors said they would use the wristband again at another event. They also said the wristband was their preferred method of payment.

Some companies are even utilizing cashless wristbands for more than day to day operations. In a recent press release, the Great Wolf Resorts® debuted their plans to use wristbands not only to allow visitors to pay for food and other items during their stay but also to utilize photo kiosks around the water park that allow visitors to directly upload their photos to Facebook.

Cashless wristbands can be made two ways: either with a printed barcode or with an embedded RFID inlay. Both allow customers the ease of paperless transaction. However, the cost of a barcode wristband is about 2¢ a piece while the cost of an RFID wristband is about $1. Since reusability of the wristband isn’t an option, using a bar-coded wristband could save a company a large amount of money.

There are several benefits to barcode wristbands:

Benefits to Businesses

  • Reduce ticket fraud
  • Increase per-cap spending
  • Improve transaction speeds
  • Reduce cash handling by employees
  • Gather patron preference information
  • Ability to prioritize patrons
  • Increase average revenue and profits per visitor
  • Non-transferrable

Benefits to Guests

  • They don’t need to carry cash.
  • Eliminates need for separate tickets to attend premium attractions
  • Reduce risk of losing ticket(s)
  • Ability to receive preferred customer benefits

Currently, the main problem with the cashless wristband is the risk of theft. A lot of venues are preprinting the wristbands, which means employees and thieves can steal the wristbands and resell them.

Zebra offers two Print-on-Demand (POD) wristbands solutions which are a low-cost alternative to pre-printed wristbands and meet the needs of diverse attractions and entertainment venues: the Z-Band® Fun and Z-Band® Splash wristbands

You can learn more about wristbands for the hospitality market here

Topics: Wristbands, APAC, North America, Latin America, EMEA