What is RFID Technology and Why Does it Matter?

What is RFID Technology and Why Does it Matter?

Cashless payments for events are just superior to the alternative. The benefits include better event security, real-time analytics, and, crucially, the ability to get people into your event faster. Also, the technology is mature and easy to put in place. Specifically, RFID technology is leading the sector.

So, if you want to rid yourself of paper money, it’s important to know what RFID technology is, how it works, and how you can get it working for you.

How do the RFID wristbands work?

They can almost be considered an update of barcode technology. The barcode on a box of cookies, when scanned, communicates with a database that contains all the relevant product information. Information, such as the price, can then be loaded, displayed, or utilized. That information is then passed on to the register.

An RFID chip works similarly. When scanned, an RFID tag communicates with a database that contains information such as the invite lists for food & drink events. However, unlike barcodes, it’s not a visual technology so that it can be put in a plastic card, or even embedded in materials like silicone and cloth.

Are there different kinds of RFID tech?

Yes. RFID devices can generally be divided into active and passive tags.

Larger events almost always use passive tags because they’re inexpensive and efficient, requiring little power. In fact, they’re actually powered by the reader that scans them, meaning they’re only on for a brief period of time.

Active tags are much more expensive and specialized. They’re always-on and usually powered by a battery. The advantage they provide is that they can continually transmit information, allowing them to track location data and serve as “beacons.” For some applications, this will enable you to collect valuable information for your event. But for the vast majority of events, active technology is an unnecessary, expensive fuss.

How does RFID stack up to the alternatives?

Quite simply, RFID is superior. The advantages over cash are apparent: getting an RFID tag stolen isn’t a big deal, and cash doesn’t give you real-time information about your event. It’s also quite fast, as compared to technologies like barcodes. In a few minutes, thousands of tags can be scanned. This spells an end to hours of queuing, which means that your guests will enter your event energized and ready to party, instead of bored and frustrated.

Also, if there’s a mistake in the database, RFID tags can be modified during your event. Any confusion about the guest list or any related matter can be resolved instantly.

But are RFID tags secure?

Understandably, organizers could be concerned about RFID security. When introducing any electronic version of old-fashioned technology, it’s essential to ask whether hacking is possible.

However, where RFID is concerned, these worries are unfounded. It’s a secure technology. If the right precautions are put in place, RFID devices are next-to-impossible to copy or fake, since they rely on databases that can be secured with encryption and password control. In other words, cashless technology isn’t what event organizers should be worried about—instead, they should be concerned about the possibility of accepting counterfeit bills.

Additionally, security for guests can be improved since the payment can be accomplished through RFID directly. Guests won’t have to carry around and flashcards and cash, which reduces the possibility of theft. This also means no long lines in front of an ATM.

What information can RFID tags hold?

RFID tags have a tiny amount of memory—the biggest passive tag can only store 3.72 kilobytes of information. However, the information they use is stored efficiently so that they can contain an impressive amount of it. They can carry everything necessary for basic event functioning, including identity credentials, proof of purchase, and details about access to privileged access such as VIP areas.

As well, increasingly, RFID tags are being used to hold social information. This makes it easier for guests to post to Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, or any channel. The advantage is obvious: if it’s easier for guests to share your event, they probably will, leading to increased exposure.

Finally, the location data of an RFID scan can be recorded. This allows organizers to observe patterns in foot traffic, which is data that can lead to improved planning of future events. Needless to say, this is something that cash can’t do.

It’s clear that passive RFID devices possess huge advantages that improve event quality, both from the perspective of guests and organizers. If you’re ready to investigate these benefits further, contact us. We would be glad to share how we can bring RFID technology to your next event.