Event planners are currently experimenting with technology– but if we're honest, many planners are only playing with event tech on the periphery. The application of digital innovation to the events world has the opportunity to completely transform how planners create their events and interact with their attendees. One such is example is Apple Pay.
Apple Pay propels Near Field Communication (NFC) to the forefront of the payment technology industry, and drops "contactless payment technology" into the driver's seat for...not the first time. Apple Pay is not the first digital transaction application – not nearly. Google Wallet has been around for a couple of years, and LevelUp is used by over 14,000 businesses for digital payment.
The difference is that Apple's influence, as usual, pushes an existing product into a spotlight that these other platforms couldn't provide the technology.
Apple Pay is a digital wallet that leverages NFC technology to allow immediate access to a user's banking and credit needs. Citi, Bank of America, Chase, Visa, Mastercard, American Express; the biggest names in banking and credit are integrated with Apple Pay. By merely adding their participating cards to Apple's Passbook, individuals will receive all of the rewards, benefits, and security of their cards without having to remember their expiration date or CID – the information is all stored within their phone.
The application's integration with apps is incredibly efficient for transactions. Now with the touch of the "Apple Pay" button found on partner sites, individuals can check out without entering any information – no security codes, no passwords, merely a click of a button. Imagine incorporating this into your event app for food and beverage or retail purchases. The impact on revenue could be significant, as purchases of goods increase significantly with each removed barrier to payment.
It will change the way your event attendees pay, and will, I predict, very quickly shift expectations for engagement of all aspects of an event towards NFC options. It will eliminate the need for your attendees to carry plastic cards or cash to purchase food and beverage or retail items at your event. It will eliminate security risks. It will make your attendees hungry for additional opportunities to drop what are now considered acceptable barricades (IE swiping a credit card).
The expediency provided by Apple Pay will undoubtedly drive user's to look for this type of solution in other places: event registration, speaker engagement, food and beverage selection and transportation. Watch as digital services such as Apply Pay become a core feature of events as planners leverage them to enhance the attendee experience.
The introduction of monetary transactions within mobile devices such as Apple Pay not only provides instantaneous access to purchases for users, it provides immediate access to data for planners. Join us next month when we dive into Three Near Field Communication (NFC) Trends on the Event Industry's Horizon.
Written exclusively for Ungerboeck by Claire Harrington, CMP, Public Relations Manager at Social Tables