Cellum News

Celebrating record success for contactless payments at leading European music festival


Back in April we revealed that Cellum had been selected to help revolutionize cashless payments at events hosted by the organizers of the annual Sziget Festival, one of Europe’s top music festivals.

Now come the figures from this year’s Sziget Festival, which wrapped up on Sunday on “Old Buda Island” in Budapest, showing that more than 95% of the payments made by the 400,000 visitors to the festival were conducted using the “Festipay” cashless system run by a consortium linking Cellum with CardNet.

The system allows festival-goers to pay for goods and services using either a card or payment “watch,” and the remaining 5% of the payments made at the festival involved PayPass cards. While this year top-up was only possible using cash or bank cards, Cellum’s technology will allow top-up via mobile devices from next year.

Among the interesting data points from this year’s festival involved the difference between the spending of users who topped up their Festipay cards and watches with cash and those who used a bank card. Those using bank cards topped up their accounts with 60% more money than those relying on cash, meaning that the 30% of users with bank cards spent more than the 70% who brought only cash.

“We’ve had other European and overseas festivals inquire about the system we use,” said Károly Gerendai, managing director of Sziget Cultural Management. “Cash payments are slower, less secure and hard to keep under check, and the time of paper coupons, stamps and coins is over.”