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Barclaycard Wireless Festival to Use PayBand NFC Technology for Wireless Payments

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Ah, Great Britain. It’s May, which means the sun is slowly starting to creep out and festival season is almost upon us.

There are some huge festivals taking place on our fine island this year, but one in particular is choosing wireless technology over good old-fashioned cash. You may have guessed from the clue, but it’s the Barclaycard Wireless Festival.

Staying true to its name, this year’s Wireless festival is cutting out the cash in favour of a pretty cool wireless payment system. Every entrant at the festival, which takes place over three days, will be given a brightly coloured rubber wristband which bears the name of the new system; PayPass. The bands use NFC, the popular wireless communications tech that has recently been used in top smartphones and tablets, to make a connection between your band and a pay terminal.

Those of you who have been to a festival before will know that you’ll usually need to take plenty of cash with you to pay for extortionately priced food and booze, which means having to safely stash that cash somewhere on you or in your tent – not ideal. PayPass works in a similar way to Barclaycard’s existing contactless payment credit and debit cards, only allowing payments of up to £20 to be made at a time.

The wristbands can be topped up online before you go or at the festival using a Visa, Mastercard or Debit Card, on a pay-as-you-go basis. Once topped up all you need to do is touch your wristband on a pad when you go to buy drinks or food at the festival – no pin or signature is required.

The idea is to cut queue times, make payments faster and more secure, and eliminate cash and therefore the likelihood of pickpocketing and theft.

Barclaycard will operate booths around Hyde Park, where the festival takes place, to help festival goers check their balance and report lost, stolen or faulty wristbands. If you don’t spend everything you topped up with, the remaining credit will be credited to the account that you topped up with, along with the wristband being deactivated, as soon as you leave the festival.

Using the PayPass system is optional – you can pay by card or cash at the various outlets in the festival – but those who sign up and use the system will benefit from fast track queuing, goody bags and access to the Barclaycard Perk Park, which contains luxury toilets (at a festival? Surely not!) and a photobooth which lets you upload your snaps straight to Facebook. You could also win a chance to head backstage to hang out with some of the artists at the festival, including Drake, Rihanna and Professor Green.

PayPass sounds like a win-win to us, but what do you think?

Let us know your thoughts on our comments below or via our @Gadget_Helpline Twitter page or Official Facebook group.

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