Mobile payments startup GustPay gets serious about cashless events

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We’ve been monitoring GustPay, the geo-fenced mobile payments solution for some time now. Earlier this year, it piloted an additional service called “Event Intelligence”, a wristband-driven, cashless events service. As the Stellenbosch startup recently held a second cashless event to refine the service, it seems to be serious about pursuing the cashless events market. We now also have more detailed information about how the system works.

Around 900 students and Stellenbosch locals were introduced to Gust’s cashless event technology at the Grim Furdango 2.0 event. People who attended the event could pay using both of the startup’s payment services — GustPay with a smartphone and the Gust Pay app, or Event Intelligence and an NFC-based Gust PayTag wristband. The wristbands are used for cashless payments, access control and social media interactions — event goers can link their tags to Facebook to see an event check-in added to their timeline. The tags are also linked to TrustFabric profiles and can be reused for future events.

To load money onto a wristband, event goers transfer funds into their Gust wallets via credit card, EFT or cash. When swiping the wristband during a transaction, the user’s profile photo and balance shows up on an iPad running Gust’s PayPoint software. The payment is confirmed by a second swipe. A third swipe adds a tip for the bar staff.

“It’s a simple, safe and frictionless payment. The concept has been proven with a few major music festivals in Europe over the last summer season. Gust wants to be the first choice for local event companies as the trend grows in South Africa,” says Joe Botha, one of the founders of GustPay. “Gust offers a full service package, including logistics, payments, interactive elements and data analytics,” he adds.

“People love the idea of just paying with a wristband and not bothering with a wallet at parties. They want quick and easy event entry, fast bar service and they like the fun elements we’ve built around social media,” says Botha.

Gust also launched Gust Finder, a location services app which helps users find and navigate to nearby Gust merchants. It offers a 2D map view, detailed list view and an Augmented Reality view.

Gust’s PayPoint app, which usually runs on an iPad, has been improved to let merchant import their stock databases so they can use it as a touch screen point of sale system.

What’s next for GustPay? “The next step is to let our merchants offer weekly specials to Gust Pay users and to include these specials in our Gust Finder app. This gives our users a mobile payment experience with location based special offers,” says Botha.

“We set out to build a payment system which we would want to use. It’s very much designed with the user in mind. The point of sale side of Gust will probably only be available in Stellenbosch for text few months, but it’s a great environment to build and test products like these,” Botha concludes.

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