What is Cashless payment?

What is Cashless payment?

You may not know this but cash­less is not new! At the end of the 50’s, Club Med launched its pro­pri­etary pay­ment sys­tem, the “col­lier-bar” (mean­ing “neck­lace-bar”). Made up of plas­tic beads in a vari­ety of colours (where each colour rep­re­sent­ed a dif­fer­ent val­ue), this neck­lace allowed peo­ple to pay at all points of sale with­in Club Med resorts. The goal? Mak­ing pay­ments eas­i­er and more fun, while reduc­ing the flow of cash in its resorts. Thanks to this sys­tem, hol­i­day­mak­ers could pay for their pur­chas­es, even from the pool and — more impor­tant­ly — with­out hav­ing to get their wal­lets out. A fun and con­ve­nient concept!

The term “cash­less” is char­ac­ter­ized by the exchange of funds by elec­tron­ic meth­ods rather than the use of cash. But the con­cept involves a lot more!

A dematerialised payment solution

We have iden­ti­fied three ways to use cashless:

  • Imple­men­ta­tion of pay­ment ter­mi­nals (or Point of Sale ter­mi­nals): Tra­di­tion­al bank and con­tact­less cards are indeed an effec­tive way to pay with­out using cash, and these are now accept­ed at most events. It is now pos­si­ble to pay with a smart­phone — via Apple­Pay or Google Wal­let — using this type of ter­mi­nal. Accord­ing to this def­i­n­i­tion, cash­less is everywhere!
  • Imple­men­ta­tion of a pri­vate cur­ren­cy: Very pop­u­lar at the end of the noughties, tokens and drinks vouch­ers marked the begin­ning of a solu­tion to issues of cash count­ing and safe­ty of cash­flows at events.
  • Imple­men­ta­tion of a pri­vate cur­ren­cy, through NFC pay­ment: Although sim­i­lar to tokens in the way it oper­ates for the atten­dees (exchange kiosks), the intro­duc­tion of NFC pri­mar­i­ly enables the dig­i­ti­za­tion of mon­ey with­in the scope of the event, as well as the imple­men­ta­tion of oth­er online ser­vices (such as track­ing pur­chas­es in real time, or online top-up).

More than a dematerialised currency

Imple­ment­ing a cash­less pay­ment sys­tem at an event is much more than cre­at­ing a cur­ren­cy and set­ting up a fun way to pay.

Because of its tech­no­log­i­cal nature, intro­duc­ing a cash­less NFC pay­ment sys­tem means imple­ment­ing point of sales sys­tems at all points of sale of the event. A true rev­o­lu­tion! Pri­or to cash­less sys­tems, events had to set-up hun­dreds of cash reg­is­ters with actu­al cash (usu­al­ly wood­en or plas­tic box­es) and dozens of pay­ment ter­mi­nals. Cash col­lec­tion was oper­at­ed by CIT secu­ri­ty staff to lim­it the risk of theft… Not to men­tion that, in addi­tion to secu­ri­ty risks, cash man­age­ment was high­ly inac­cu­rate and did not allow for real time sales tracking.

There­fore, cash­less is more akin to the birth of a dig­i­tal ecosys­tem rather than just anoth­er pay­ment method. View­ing cash­less only as a pay­ment sys­tem restricts the num­ber of ser­vices that NFC tech­nol­o­gy can offer.

Cash­less is also a com­mu­ni­ca­tion tool, in the same way that the Club Med neck­laces were. Cre­at­ing a pri­vate cur­ren­cy strength­ens the feel­ing of com­mu­ni­ty among the audi­ence and cre­ates new com­mu­ni­ca­tion opportunities.

Keep an eye out for a future post address­ing how to suc­cess­ful­ly roll out cash­less systems!

To go fur­ther and find out more about cash­less sys­tems, down­load our free white paper here.

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