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Transactie op een evenement
10 juli 2023

Choosing the right event payment system:
Pin vs. QR Codes vs. Tactile

From the supermarket to the festival site, cashless payment is the new norm in the digital age. As an organizer you want a system that is safe, easy and efficient. Pin systems, QR codes or wristbands with chips such as the Tactile system are all options. Each has its pros and cons and we're going to look at them all, with a special focus on the Tactile payment system. Read on to discover which cashless payment system best suits your event.

Profielfoto van Tim Thuis

Head of product

Payment is an essential part of any event and the way in which this is done can greatly influence the visitor's experience. Below is a brief description of the different payment systems discussed in this article.

Scannen van een QR code met telefoon
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1

QR codes: The popularity of this payment system increased significantly during the COVID-19 pandemic, especially in catering establishments. The working method is simple: visitors scan a QR code, enter their order on an online platform and pay via iDeal or credit card. They can then pick up their order using an order number, or if they are served at the table, the order will be brought to them.

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Pin payments:The PIN payment system is so well established that it does not require an extensive introduction. It is a system we use every day for a wide range of transactions. The arrival of Apple Pay in 2019 and Google Pay in 2020 has made it even easier to make contactless payments, making the user experience smoother and more convenient. A notable change that took place during the COVID-19 pandemic was the temporary increase of the limit for contactless payments without a PIN code from 25 to 50 euros. Although there were original plans to lower this limit after the crisis, this change has significantly increased the flexibility and convenience of debit card payments.

Mobiele pintransacties
Het Tactile Cashless betaalsysteem
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Tactile payment system: This system uses a card or wristband with an NFC chip. Visitors deposit money into their account prior to the event. The bar staff are equipped with a Tactile cash register and visitors simply pay by scanning their wristband at a Tactile payment terminal. This makes the event run smoothly and worry-free. Another plus is that unused credit is automatically refunded at the end of the event.

#1: Payment speed in a bar setting

QR-code

Transactions per min

12.5%.png

1/6

Pin

Transactions per min

50%.png

3/6

Tactile

Transactions per min

100%.png

+6

When assessing the efficiency of a payment system, the speed at which transactions are processed is a crucial factor, especially in a busy bar situation. Can be in a setting with table serviceQR codes certainly have advantages. They offer faster service than traditional payment methods because customers do not have to wait for a waiter. However, in the context of a busy bar, implementing QR codes can be less efficient. The lack of clarity about whose turn it is can lead to confusion and delays.

For busy events and peak demand, a faster method such as Pin, and especially contactless payment, or an NFC-based system such as Tactile, is a better choice. With the use ofPin we see that at busy events up to 3 transactions per minute can be processed per cash register. This is certainly an improvement over cash payments, but there is still room for more efficiency.

#2: Reliability

Reliability is another important factor when evaluating a cashless payment system. Each of these systems has its own requirements regarding connectivity.

QR-code

Internet connection required for visitors as an organization

30%.png

2/5

Pin

Internet connection required for organization

50%.png

3/5

Tactile

Always remains online, even in the event of a temporary power or internet failure.

100%.png

5/5

To start with itQR code system: Both the customer and the bar need a working internet connection. So it depends on the visitor to have and use a smartphone with internet access. This can be a challenge for some visitors, especially if they have run out of data or their phone battery is dead.

It's the opposite of that pin system,that requires a stable 2G/3G/4G connection for the transaction itself. However, the visitor does not necessarily need an internet connection for this. However, there are times when the connection for the transaction can become unstable or even disappear completely. This scenario became painfully clear during a major car racing event in Zandvoort in 2022, where a malfunction in the PIN system resulted in visitors being unable to pay for more than an hour.

It's the opposite of thatpin system,that requires a stable 2G/3G/4G connection for the transaction itself. However, the visitor does not necessarily need an internet connection for this. However, there are times when the connection for the transaction can become unstable or even disappear completely. This scenario became painfully clear during a major car racing event in Zandvoort in 2022, where a malfunction in the PIN system resulted in visitors being unable to pay for more than an hour.

ItTactile system is designed to continue working even if power and internet are temporarily lost. This reliability can be critical at large events where power or internet interruptions are a possibility. Furthermore, because this system works with NFC chip wristbands or cards, it is not necessary for visitors to have a smartphone with internet access. This makes it possible for attendees to experience the event without worrying about phone battery life or data usage.

#3: Sustainability

QR-code

No impact

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5/5

Pin

No impact

100%.png

5/5

Tactile

Sustainable straps & recyclable chips

70%.png

4/5

Sustainability is a crucial topic, also within the events industry. BothQR codes asdebit card payments in principle add no additional impact to the environment - they use existing smartphones and PIN devices. Although the payment system only accounts for a small part of the total environmental impact of an event, it is still an aspect that deserves attention.

ItTactile system is committed to sustainability and offers straps made from recycled materials, such as PET bottles, or fully recyclable materials such as textiles and wood. In doing so, they contribute to reducing the ecological impact of the use of NFC chips.

An exciting recent development at Tactile is a new module to their cash register system. This module not only displays a price for each product, but also a CO2 impact. This gives visitors insight into the environmental impact they make during the event, and offers them the opportunity to offset their carbon footprint in one go at the end of the event. This is an example of how payment systems can play a role in increasing sustainability awareness among visitors.

#4: Transaction fees

QR-code

Cost per transaction

70%.png

3/5

Pin

Cost per transaction

70%.png

3/5

Tactile

Costs only when topping up

100%.png

5/5

Als het gaat om transactiekosten, zijn er belangrijke verschillen tussen de systemen. Bij zowel pin- als QR-code betalingen worden transactiekosten berekend voor elke afzonderlijke bestelling. Deze kosten, hoewel vaak klein, kunnen snel oplopen bij een groot aantal transacties - iets dat heel gebruikelijk is bij evenementen.

Tactile on the other hand, uses a different model: transaction costs are charged when topping up the NFC chip on the card or wristband. This means that the transaction costs for the organizer are significantly limited, regardless of the number of purchases the visitor makes during the event. In addition, at Tactile we encourage visitors to top up a significant amount. Visitors are usually willing to do this, knowing that the unused balance will be automatically refunded after the event. An additional advantage is that visitors with a high balance are often inclined to spend more. All in all, this can result in significant cost savings and potentially higher revenues, especially at events with a large number of visitors.

#5: Supported payment methods

QR-code

All

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5/5

Pin

Limited

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3/5

Tactile

All

100%.png

5/5

When choosing a cashless payment system, flexibility in the supported payment methods also plays an important role.PIN terminals are in theory able to accept both Dutch debit cards and international credit cards, but the options are quite limited.

ForQR code systems and the Tactile system, the possibilities are considerably broader. Not only are they compatible with local and international payment methods such as iDEAL, credit cards, and debit cards, but they can also support services such as PayPal and Klarna.

What itTactile system what stands out in this context is their collaboration with an international payment service provider. This means that the options for payment methods are practically unlimited. As an organizer, you have the freedom to choose which payment methods you want to support for your event. This can be attractive for international events, where visitors can come from different countries with their own preferred payment methods. Offering a wide range of payment options can then contribute to a smooth visitor experience.

Conclusion

Cashless payment systems are becoming increasingly popular among event organizers. Each system - Pin, QR codes or Tactile - has its own advantages and challenges. Debit card payments are known and trusted, but transaction speed and reliability could be improved. QR codes offer extensive flexibility, but their efficiency can be reduced in a busy bar setting. The Tactile system excels in transaction speed and reliability and also offers options for minimizing transaction costs and supporting a wide range of payment methods.

Choosing the right cashless payment system depends on the specific needs and circumstances of your event. By considering the various factors we discussed - transaction speed, reliability, sustainability, transaction fees and supported payment methods - you can make an informed decision that will improve the attendee experience at your event. Are you still unsure whether you should opt for a cashless payment system or prefer to continue working with break coins? Then read this article in which I discuss the benefits of a cashless payment system.

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