In a bid to co-opt retailers to their mission to kill cash, a group of Dutch banks and MasterCard recently held a special musical, cashless 'thank you' event for the country's shop workers.
The Amsterdam 'Debit Card Champions' evening in January saw local artists perform for hundreds of retail workers and, says MasterCard, "even more exciting was that it was a cashless event".
All 1700 attendees were given PayPass bracelets loaded with EUR7.50, enabling them to pay for refreshments with a flick of their wrists using MasterCard's contactless payment technology. Revellers could check the balance on their bracelet by holding it against a terminal.
Organised by the Foundation Promoting Efficient Payments in collaboration with retail branch organisations, banks and MasterCard, the event was "designed to thank all retailers and their employees in the Netherlands for their efforts to stimulate debit card use in their stores and for raising awareness of the safety and efficiency of our payment system".
It also gave MasterCard and the banks the chance to impress the retailers with the next wave of technologies as they seek to move beyond the humble debit card.
Retail support is seen as vital in promoting new payment options - a recent report from ICM Research found that take up of contactless in the UK has been hindered by a lack of merchant enthusiasm, with most stores failing to promote the fact that they support tap and pay.