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Event Wi-Fi for Cashless Systems

Event Wi-Fi for Cashless Systems

1. What is Cashless?

A Dematerialized Payment Solution

The term "cashless" is a portmanteau, which, translated from English, literally means "without cash". But in reality, it's a much broader concept!

The goal? To make payment easier and more fun while reducing the circulation of cash in its hotel complexes. Vacationers could then pay for their purchases, even if they were swimming and especially without having to take out their wallet. A practical and fun concept at the same time!

We can distinguish three types of devices related to cashless: The implementation of electronic payment terminals (EPT): Traditional and contactless bank cards are indeed cashless payment methods, and are now accepted at most events. It is now possible to pay with a smartphone, via ApplePay or Google Wallet, on this type of terminal. According to this definition, cashless is everywhere!

The introduction of a private currency: Very fashionable in the late 2000s, tokens or drink tickets have provided a first answer to the problems related to cash counting and securing cash flows.

The implementation of a private currency, via NFC payment: Quite close to tokens in its operation for the public (exchange banks), the implementation of NFC mainly brings the notion of dematerialization of internal currency and allows multiple online uses (real-time consumption tracking, online reloads).

2. How Does it Work?

More than just a Dematerialized Currency

Implementing cashless at an event is much more than creating a currency and installing a fun payment method. Because of its technological dimension, the NFC cashless system is also an excuse to introduce cash registers at the event's sales points. A real revolution! Before cashless, events had to deploy hundreds of cash registers (often wooden or in plastic boxes) and dozens of EPTs. Cash collection was carried out by “carriers” to limit theft risks... Not to mention that in addition to security risks, this money management was very imprecise and did not allow for proper sales tracking.

Poorly named, cashless is more the start of a digital ecosystem than just a payment system. Because, seeing cashless only through the prism of dematerialized payment is today very reductive in view of the many uses offered by NFC technology.

The creation of a private currency strengthens the public's sense of belonging and creates new communication opportunities.

3. Deploying a High-Performance Wi-Fi System for Cashless

The characteristics of an efficient Wi-Fi network for a Cashless event do not depend on the bandwidth, as is the case for many uses, but on the optimization of radio networks and DHCP for good management of terminal density.

The terminals being quite undemanding, the bandwidth of a Wi-Fi network for Cashless is very accessible even in places with poor telecom collection. Generally, a minimum bandwidth of 1 Mbit/s symmetric is talked about for 100 terminals to ensure a minimum service.

Depending on the size of the operation and the density of terminals, we however allocate a minimum bandwidth of 10Mbit/s for cashless.

In addition, Peeble Event allocates a bandwidth of 5Mbit/s for the cashless management technical team that collects data from the terminals and concentrates all the transaction administration locally. This access will allow interfacing the local event with cloud servers in a secure way.

However, the density of terminals in an operation is more decisive and the Wi-Fi network must enable the management of this density, sometimes concentrated in one or two geographical areas of a location. Radio networks are then heavily solicited, and a dynamic allocation of frequency channels is necessary. The terminal is a mobile equipment and each vendor will be equipped. Therefore, between 100 and up to 1000 devices may be connected simultaneously depending on the setup at a location.

Cashless EPT terminals generally connect to Wi-Fi on the 2.4 GHz and/or 5 GHz frequencies depending on the manufacturers. The 5GHz frequency is preferable as it offers more available channels and is much less congested than the 2.4GHz widely used for many years. However, as the 5GHz has a shorter range, it will be necessary to validate good radio coverage with a sufficiently strong signal between -30dBm and -65dBm and position access points near the EPTs if possible.

Peeble Event strongly recommends setting up a VLAN dedicated to the Cashless application like Weezevent and associating it with a dedicated SSID (a network name) with secure encryption and hidden to better manage the risks of attacks.

Each EPT or terminal retrieves an IP address assigned by the DHCP server of the Wi-Fi infrastructure, its use and traffic are then traced and the history is stored on a log server of Peeble Event. The IP address range to choose on the DHCP will therefore be conditioned by the number of terminals planned for the operation.

Cashless terminals synchronize at regular intervals with the local server through the Wi-Fi network (WLAN). It is important that the synchronization is done regularly, ideally every 2 to 5 minutes, to guarantee the validity and security of transactions.

This synchronization is crucial for the proper functioning of the event as it allows the checking of account balances, updating of the terminal's information, and the transfer of transaction data to the local server.

In summary, a successful deployment of cashless at an event requires careful planning of Wi-Fi infrastructure, including optimal bandwidth allocation, effective management of terminal density, and regular synchronization of cashless terminals with the local server.



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