NFC is starting to show up at retail locations like Starbucks, but imagine the Starbucks line is 100 people long — yeah, that’s how it is at music festivals, state fairs and other large-scale events. There are bars, food and merch stands and other temporary installations, and you can’t be sure you’ll have Wi-Fi. ArrowPass has made what amounts to a tiny gift card that you preload with money when you get it, and then use to pay wirelessly at little stations that can be deployed easily wherever they need to be. At one event last year, the company processed 45,000 transactions from 6,000 people, and all the concession stands had lower wait times and higher sales. The secret is in the pre-loading of card info: since the system doesn’t have to call home for any transactions, you can just tap the sensor and move on. The team, which has been together for 17 months, is led by Napster, LiveJournal and Verifone veterans, which may or may not be impressive.
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