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    August 2, 2012

    GustPay trials NFC payments for music festivals

    GustPay, South Africa’s geo-fenced mobile payments startup held a launch party last week, introducing about 400 students to their smartphone payment technology. The event was held in partnership with TrustFabric and Boom.fm, also part of the the World of Avatar group, based in Stellenbosch. The party celebrated GustPay’s mobile apps now being available in both the Apple iTunes and Google Play app stores.

    The event, called Grim Furdango was South Africa’s first music festival that combined NFC (Near-Field Communication) wristband payments with mobile phone payments. Held at the Klein Libertas Theatre, with SAB, Distell and Red Bull as sponsors, the event featured local acts including Mr Cat & the Jackal, Nomadic Orchestra, Maor and Black Handed Kites – who also produced the soundtrack for GustPay’s new video.

    You can watch the video below:

    In the run up to the Grim Furdango party, two pre-events were held at a popular Stellenbosch student hang-out, The Trumpet Tree, where people who had registered online were handed their own NFC wristband. Funds were loaded in a simple process where their tag was linked to their mobile phone number and TrustFabric profile with about 500 people having  joined TrustFabric in the process.

    “We had very positive feedback from people who attended the event,” says Joe Botha, CEO of TrustFabric and one of the founders of GustPay. “The payment process was quick and convenient and the bar queue was never longer than two or three people, even though we only had two bar staff for a party of more than 400 people.”

    Now, GustPay in partnership with RAMfest, a major local events group, wants to introduce a new era in festival intelligence. The concept is simple: festival goers will no loner have to wait in long queues to get into major music festivals and once inside, you pay with a wristband. Simple, safe and frictionless payments.

    “The dream is to offer a cashless environment where you can manage your wristband tag from your smartphone. Load money on your tag and leave your phone in the car – like a personal mobile ATM. Or if the tag gets lost, cancel it from your phone without losing any money. You no longer need the stress of a wallet full of cash that can be lost or stolen,” says Botha.

    Wristbands are scanned at the door for access control. Festival goers can reuse their tags and the tags are waterproof. Buying a drink was as simple as swiping the NFC wristband. The user’s profile photo and balance shows up on an iPad and the payment is confirmed by a second swipe.

    The NFC wristbands can store a person’s medical conditions and risks and can prevent the sale of alcohol to under-eighteens when linked to TrustFabric’s Child Protect service which a database of date of birth records linked to mobile phone numbers.

    Watch the GustPay launch party in the video below:

    “Our challenge is to create a culture of mobile payments. The Stellenbosch student community and music festivals are fun places to start. We designed a payment system which we would want to use. I believe there is lots of room for innovation as we take online trust and payment technologies into real world experiences,” Botha concludes.

    GustPay is currently running a closed pilot, aiming to make Stellenbosch the first cashless town in South Africa.

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