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Festivals pioneer cashless payment

Sziget Kft and Metapay successfully tested an RFID-based card system to substitute cash payments at Balaton Sound festival last weekend. The pilot project will go large at the Sziget festival in August.

In a festival environment, the paying options are basically limited to cash payments, but until now, there were no real alternatives. At Balaton Sound, the organizer Sziget Kft and its partner Metapay decided to run a pilot of electronic voucher payment at 100 selling points.

Metapay was established by the Metacom incubator venture, founded by Hungarian telco experts and businessmen.

The pilot apparently convinced sellers to use the new payment method. The Metapay card is not a legal currency, and Metapay does not offer financial services, just an electronic voucher. It can be cashed in for certain products in a certain time frame and commercial units. The card can be topped up with a cash payment at the moment.

The satisfaction of users was high: 72% thought it was easy to get used to the cash-free payment system, while 60% considered it more comfortable than cash. Skeptical users' main argument was that too few vendors would accept it: 59% said this would be the first thing to improve.

Festival-goers can look forward to Sziget Festival in August, where the pilot will continue with a lot more coverage among the sellers. Also, there will be another new ticket-payment method introduced: you will be able to pay for your entrance with your mobile phone.