Mobile Payments

Coachella Goes Cashless

With more people preferring the ease that goes with cashless payments, all vendors at this year’s Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival will accept Apple Pay, Android Pay and Samsung Pay via the festival’s point-of-sale provider Square.

“[Coachella has] been rather militantly cash-only for the long duration of its lifespan, but over the past three years we’ve been watching our sales and seeing credit card demand here and at other festivals really scaling heavily — this is a trend that couldn’t be ignored and denied; it’s the way consumers want to complete transactions onsite,” Gopi Sangha, the director of Digital Strategy at Coachella organizer Goldenvoice, told Forbes Magazine.

Other music festivals like Lollapalooza, Mysteryland and Austin City Limits recently tried the RFID (radio frequency identification) payment method, where users link their cards to wristbands. TomorrowWorld has attendees use a reloadable card to buy “Pearls” to exchange for food, beverages and wage. Sangha said Goldenvoice is “still interested in” RFID payments, and it could be added to Coachella in the future.

Coachella also has a digital partnership with American Express this year where the festival’s app will allow American Express members to link their cards for a chance to win “Surprise and Delight” rewards during the festival. Participants also will get $10 back after spending $10 at Coachella.

“When it comes to cashless, just as a festivalgoer myself, I don’t want to have things in my pockets. You want to have as little on you as possible, but the one thing you’ve always got with you is your mobile device. For Coachella, where so much of your experience, your itinerary, the way that you are meeting up with your friends is done through your mobile device, this seemed like a no-brainer where we should go to add value,” Amy Marino, vice president of Digital Communications and Design Strategy at American Express, said.

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