Back in the 1970s and 1980s, if you talked about something
wearable at the Eurovision Song Contest, you were probably referring to the extravagant outfits, strange hats or unbelievable footwear worn by the contestants. But nothing stays the same – Australia is now, mysteriously, part of the annual European competition, and the something wearable is a nifty wristband that enables you to pay for drinks and snacks in the same way as you would with a
This year's Eurovision saw Gemalto team up with official partner Visa Europe to provide
contactless wristbands, which were available at the Eurovision Village in Stockholm, Sweden, in the week leading up to the contest.
The event, which attracted hundreds of thousands of visitors from around the world, was a great showcase for the technology, providing a fantastic contactless experience that improved shopping without users needing to carry cash or make payments by card. The contest culminated in a Grand Finale at the Globe Arena seen by a TV audience of over 200 million, thereby bringing the technology to an even greater audience.
Gemalto provided the Smart Event Platform for the prepaid payment program and event management. It also provided a responsive website enabling access to real-time account information, including prepaid balances and history. The wristbands, which can be used to make payments at any Visa-ready contactless POS terminal in the world, will remain active and usable until 31 October 2016.
It's not only great European singing competitions that have had a makeover. Wearable devices have also found their way into the world of sport and are set to thrive in a sector where portability, ease of use, security and convenience are key. In the UK, Saracens, one of the country's most successful rugby union clubs, is using prepaid wristbands that enable fans to make speedy and secure contactless payments for food and drink at its Allianz Park stadium in north London. The scheme promises supporters an even better match day experience, cutting queues for refreshments and eliminating the hassle of fumbling for notes and coins. The wristbands can be topped up online quickly and easily, simply by linking them to existing credit or debit cards and then used for the remaining matches of the season.
Both of these initiatives are supported by Gemalto's
Smart Event Platform, which includes the production of the wristbands, packaging, fulfilment and added value services, such as integrated mobile apps, mobile marketing and social media campaigns. It can be used in conjunction with any payment form factor, including wearables and mobile NFC, and provides off-the-shelf management of payment, data and access rights as well as an extensive portfolio of white label applications.