​Smartcards replace cash payments at Royal Melbourne Show

150,000 transactions were made over 11 days

Visitors to the Royal Melbourne Show in September had the option of using a smartcard payment system rather than digging in their pockets for cash.

The system proved to be a hit with patrons with over 150,000 transactions made during the 11 day event.

Perth-based Vix Technology issued thousands of smartcards for people to load money on, and 76 contactless card reader terminals were installed at more than 50 rides and food stalls at the Melbourne showgrounds.

Over 440,000 people attended the show in 2015.

Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria (RASV) CFO Jon Perry said the smartcards were rolled out for security purposes.

“There is a lot of cash that changes hands through big major shows whether its catering, rides or commercial show bags. We were looking for a system that would give comfort to parents. They can potentially send the child out on their own [with a card] during the show,” he said.

The system also made it easier to keep track of sales rather than counting paper tickets at the end of the event.

“To know that you have an electronic system online that does it live was such a great saving for us,” said Perry.

In addition, the data analytics collected from the system has provided RASV with new insights into visitor behaviour.

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The organisation received a full listing of the products that sold throughout the venue so it could judge what products sold the most.

“Coca-Cola is a sponsor of most of the shows around Australia and so they like to know their volumes and where it is being sold,” he said.

“We can give them [Coca-Cola] live data on what was spent where. We can push data out to them so they know what to target for next year.”

As a result of the analytics, Perry said RASV planned to place caterers and amusement equipment in different places next year to maximise turnover.

As part of its Towards 2020 Strategy, RASV is now considering an iPhone application which could replace smartcards for ticketing, payment and cash top-ups.

“We also want to give people more active information as they go around the ground. You might walk past a certain stand and there is a Beacon that can push data through to the phone,” said Perry.

He added that there had been interest in the smartcard payment system from other show authorities such as the Sydney Royal Easter show organisers.

Vix Technology’s smartcard system has also been adopted by NRL side, the Melbourne Storm and Super Rugby team, the Melbourne Rebels at their shared stadium, AAMI Park.

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