MK-CP242_APPLEP_G_20140910191855On September 9th Apple launched a raft of new technology including the iPhone 6, iPhone 6L and the iWatch. What interested me most was the addition of Apple Pay. With a number of the leading payment providers backing the solution out of the gate, this was an aggressive move to be a leader in the market.

Furthermore, I’m interested to see how this may affect events in the future.

Will it make cashless events more viable? In my mind the answer is ‘absolutely’.

But does it spell the death of RFID wristbands being used as a payment solution?

I asked this question to Serge Grimaux, CEO at leading provider of cashless solutions Intelitix.

“We have had more than 1million users of our RFID technology this year alone, and the announcement of Apple Pay is yet another fantastic demonstration of what we’ve been accomplishing already: that the future is paying with the tap of your wrist!

There is no doubt that mobile phone based systems like Apple Pay will eventually become the norm, but it will take a long time until we see the impact in either stores or at events. Retailers currently don’t have the hardware to accept the NFC technology, nor the incentive to change.

When it comes to events, there is fundamental difference in what we do and what these other ‘electronic payment methods’ offer. We are providing a Closed Loop environment while they operate in an Open Loop environment. With Closed Loop, not only we do not depend on connectivity, we also provide the event organiser with the ultimate power to control all money and all transactions, as well as with access to analyze amazingly rich data. Furthermore, we give the event organiser the possibility to have a direct relationship of the optimum quality with their fans.

Because of this, although Apple Pay is an exciting development in the ‘cashless’ world, it isn’t so much for the event world. It still needs to be coupled with a banking instrument, and it hasn’t addressed the fundamental issues of using mobile phones at  events: lack of signal and charging facilities, especially for multi-day applications like festivals.

We still believe that RFID presents the easiest, most secure and most user-friendly way of integrating cashless payments into festivals and events. However, at Intellitix, being the innovation company we are, although RFID is the main technology at the moment, we know that this will inevitably change at some point, perhaps to other means of NFC including Bluetooth 4.0.

We’ll continue developing our products and offerings alongside these growing technologies and be ready to support platforms like Apple Pay. We also very much believe in vertical integration, from access control, to personalisation via social media, to cashless, and soon to other spheres of activities. Any technology we use will work across all of these areas.”