Europe’s festivals could see cashless transactions hit 7 million this year

The sight of a person furtively stashing cash into a sock and hiding it in a shoe or throwing their arms in the air as they realise they didn’t bring enough cash with them to the bar may soon be relegated to the past as the number of cashless transactions being made at festivals this year could hit seven million, according to Festipay, a cashless service provider.

This will mark an increase of more than a quarter (27%) compared to last year’s 5.5 million transactions.

Festipay says that one of the main reasons more festivals are going contactless is the inherent speed of cashless transactions: “Contactless bankcards is that they allow transactions to be completed in no more than 3 to 5 seconds instead of the usual 20 to 25 seconds. The simplified process acts as a purchase incentive, as well.”

László Márki, CEO of Festipay Zrt, said that festival-goers who use cards are actually starting to use them more and more frequently, “a 2 to 4 percent increase can be witnessed in this area every year”.

He also noted that frequency of card usage is accompanied by higher-value transactions: “they spend up to 10 to 30 percent more during festivals than those who pay by banknotes. So merchants at festivals going cashless can expect volume increases as well, compared to the previous years,” he added.

In the company’s base of Hungary, Festipay also says the social cost of cash is another reason for people migrating away from it. It says that merchants are the ones who have to pay this social cost, adding up to HUF 388 billion ($1.4 billion) per year.

Despite incurring fewer fixed costs than electronic transactions, the variable costs of handling and transporting banknotes could account for up to 0.35 to 0.50 percent of merchants’ income, depending on the volume of incoming amounts.

As Steve Daly, head of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) at ID & C, told PaymentEye last year“The festival market is getting more and more competitive, and festival organisers’ overheads are increasing. Using cashless has proven to increase revenues by 30-70 per cent, and in the current environment, festival organisers cannot ignore this.”



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