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Isle of Wight festivalgoers pay by wristband

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Festivalgoers at this weekend’s Isle of Wight Festival paid their way using radio frequency technology (RFID) wristbands. The new technology helped more than 10,000 attendees to make cashless payments for food and drink across the site.

The wristbands, provided by ID&C, combined ticket entry, festival ID and wallet in one, thanks to partnerships with MasterCard UK, Vodafone, Central Catering and technology company IVS.

Andy Gratton, a food trader at the Isle of Wight Festival, said: “The transactions are faster than paying by cash or traditional chip and pin. It’s really convenient and I can see it becoming more and more popular.”

Those who bought tickets to the festival were invited to upgrade their standard wristband to an RFID one. Once it was activated it was linked to their debit or credit card, for holders to spend up to £20 in a single transaction.

Users could check their credit levels with vendors, who included all the main bars on the site as well as a number of catering outlets, and could top up at points around the site. At the end of the festival unused credit would be automatically refunded to the original debit or credit card.

ID&C operations director Steve Daly said: “Last year the wristbands were trialled successfully amongst a limited number of VIPs. This year it’s been great to see the technology rolled out to a wider festival audience.” He said festivals around the UK, Europe and the US would be using the technology in future. “It’s a convenient way for fans to reap the benefits of technology and enhance their festival experience.”

The 11th Isle of Wight Festival took place between June 22 and 24. Headline acts included Bruce Springsteen, Pearl Jam and Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds.

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