From black-clad teenagers camping at rock events in the countryside, to parents on a day trip to a family-friendly event in a city park, there is one thing that they all have in common – queuing for so long you wonder what you came there for.
Waiting in lines for a drink, for the cash machine, for the t-shirt stall, even the toilets – it’s an occupational hazard most of us accept we have to put up with.
But this year’s Wireless Festival, between 6-8 July in London’s Hyde Park ,sees the introduction of microchipped wristbands to Britain, a move that could revolutionise the way we attend huge events like these and also save you from having to worry about the risk of losing your wallet while you rave.
At Wireless revellers can use cashless payments to a value of £20, thanks to the Barclaycard Payband, a wristband that uses contactless technology to enable festival-goers to get their beer, burgers and babywipes without the endless queues.
By using near field communication (NFC) radio signals, the wristbands enable users to ‘wave and pay’ instead of having to fumble for their wallets and bank notes.
This queue-saving device won’t just be for opportunities to spend money – it is also planned to give users fast-track entry and potentially access to upgrades such as VIP toilets (it won’t unfortunately speed access to the humble festival loo portakabins).
It’s unclear at the moment how many wristbands will be available, but Barclaycard say that any ticket-holder can apply for one, and payments can come from a variety of sources.
But what if someone managed to somehow rip the wristband from off your arm? Tom Gregory, Barclaycard’s head of digital payments, insists that using it is still safer than carrying cash around with you.
‘If you lose your wallet and you’re lucky enough to find it, it is unlikely to have any cash left in it,’ he says.
‘If you lose your wristband or someone steals it, you are protected by our fraud guarantee, which means make one phone call, or speak to staff on site, and we’ll block it and get your money refunded.’
If you are going to summer festivals – wristband or no wristband – it’s a good idea to keep a close eye on your personal information, and on your credit report for any signs of unusual activity.
Remember that you can check your credit report for signs of ID Fraud with a 30-day FREE trial of CreditExpert from Experian. You also get peace of mind against the threat of Identity Fraud, with 24/7 monitoring, dedicated fraud resolution, and up to £75,000 insurance to cover costs.
CreditExpert also provides alerts if your personal details appear anywhere unexpectedly online so it is easy to protect yourself pro-actively.
With other UK festivals set to follow with cashless payment ideas, the future is unclear – but at least it might have shorter waiting times.