Mobile point of sale is a game-changer for live events

By Mark Austin, Head of Digital Product Solutions, Europe • Visa

July 03, 2015

Worrying about having your money stolen, whether you’ve got enough cash on you or queuing for costly cash machines – familiar to all of us who’ve been to a major sporting event or festival.

However, these were a thing of the past at the 2015 FIA Formula E Visa London ePrix on 27-28 June, thanks to the introduction of mobile point-of-sale (mPOS) technology which enabled visitors to pay for purchases with their Visa card.

We made the eVillage experience faster and easier for thousands of fans with the introduction of 60 contactless mPOS solutions to event vendors. The event marked one of the first major implementations of contactless mPOS in Europe, and over 50% of all purchases were made using the technology.

Stallholders transformed phones and tablets into card acceptance solutions just by connecting them to a contactless chip & PIN card reader. This allowed customers to pay for even the smallest items without the need for cash.

The technology is a perfect fit for merchants trading at live events like the London ePrix because it’s low-cost, easy to set-up and completely portable. The vendors, some of whom thought their business was too small or lacking the necessary infrastructure to accept card payments, reported benefits including increased speed of service, greater security and also returning custom. In fact, when things got particularly busy, at peak times during the event, Visa Europe’s mPOS terminals enabled over 100 cashless transactions per minute. All the while, these customers could avoid queueing at ATMs, enjoy shorter waits at the stalls, and concentrate on enjoying the Formula E experience.

But it’s not just the answer for sporting events and festivals – the beauty of mPOS is in its versatility. From market stalls to mobile traders and home deliveries, mPOS opens up card payments to all merchants, large and small, static and mobile. Also, recent enhancements to mPOS solutions, such as contactless capability, allow business owners to keep up with emerging trends like mobile payments and wearables. At future live events, visitors may only need to take a mobile phone or wearable device to cover all of their payment needs; again driving further benefits for both consumers and retailers alike.

With 500 million Visa cards in Europe, people increasingly preferring cards over cash, and mobile and wearable payments expected to boom in the next few years, there’s never been a better time for business to embrace mPOS.

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