NFC-based mobile payments are to get their first outing in South Africa at this year's Oppikoppi rock festival, where 15,000 music fans will be issued with free tap'n'go cards courtesy of Standard Bank.
Loading stations will be set up throughout the entertainment area, where visitors will be able to pre-load money onto their Oppikoppi cards, using their cash, credit, debit cards or mimoney, Standard Bank's e-currency. To make a payment, card holders tap their card against a participating vendor's cash register and the correct amount will be deducted from their balance.
Once the festival is over, any value remaining on the Oppikoppi cards will be converted into mimoney. Existing as a voucher code on the user's mobile phone, mimoney can be spent at over 25 of South Africa's top online and physical retailers.
Herman Singh, chief executive officer of Standard bank's innovation unit Beyond Payments, says: "NFC is the way of the future and after its introduction at Oppikoppi, we foresee it becoming a popular payment method in many other contexts."
If the cards prove successful, Opikoppi music organiser Hilttop Live says it will roll the innovation out across all of its major festivals and events, which include more than 60 a year.
Carel Hoffmann, Hilltop Live president, says: "The solution not only provides an enjoyable and more efficient user experience for our festival goers, but importantly, it also provides a cashless event which addresses the risk and cost of cash handling, as well as simplifies the reconciliation process amongst merchants at the event."
Earlier this year, music revellers at the Isle of Wight festival rated a trial application of a MasterCard pre-paid contactless wristband as a must-have essential for future live events.