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The latest member of NXP’s MIFARE System Integrator Partner Program, PouchNATION, is helping event managers across Southeast Asia discover the many benefits of using NFC – and MIFARE – based cards and wristbands for entry passes and cashless payments.

Using NFC technology and in-house developed software, the Singapore-based company helps event organizers deliver hassle-free experiences to their attendees and build deeper relationships with their audiences.

PouchNATION’s tailored solution begins at the ticket purchase. As Graeme Perkins, Chief Marketing Officer and Co-Founder describes it, “event attendees can buy tickets, load credit, and even have their wristbands delivered to their home or office. The wristband is pre-loaded with ticket access and tokens, so they don’t have to queue. They start having fun right away.”

Everyone benefits
The MIFARE-powered wristbands and cards deliver important benefits to attendees, event management, and sponsors.

  • Attendees – Arriving onsite with a pre-loaded wristband or card means less waiting at entry points and faster queues when buying items like food and souvenirs. Cashless transactions eliminate the need to carry money, and that means less worry about pickpockets or forgetting a wallet somewhere. Follow-on access to messaging and other forms of social media gives new ways to engage, whether it’s with the event itself or sponsors.
  • Event Managers – Digital authentication of tickets reduces fraud, while software-driven reporting and live analytics help event managers be more responsive and more interactive. The result is better methods for tracking sales and gauging the success of various marketing efforts, with increased efficiency when it comes to managing crowds and maintaining security.
  • Sponsors – Real-time and post-event analytics give sponsors more sophisticated ways to know how people are responding to their activities. The ability to connect directly with attendees, through messaging or special offers, extends the value of sponsorship and deepens consumer relationships.

PouchNATION’s ability to enhance event experiences has helped them grow quickly. Within the past year alone, the company has generated over 1 million transaction records, has handled over SGD 10 million worth of transaction value, and collected 30 million data points.

The company’s Brand Activation service helps event sponsors select the right target markets, engage guests, measure the impact of their branding activities, and create lasting relationships with event attendees. In particular, PouchNATION’s offline-to-online customer acquisition tool allows brands to onboard attendees as real customers after the event, for deeper engagement and broader insights. Working with the online retailer Zalora, for example, PouchNATION’s events in the Philippines have let attendees convert their post-event balances into Zalora wallet credits for use on the Zalora platform.

PouchNATION’s Event Solutions

  • Ticket validation: One ticket locked to one chip
  • Cashless payments: Balances stored on each chip
  • Merchant/Vendor POS: Transaction handled by chip and PouchNATION software, with options for tracking items, top spenders, top sellers, etc.
  • Event analytics: Detailed information on guest attendance, peak hours, entry points, sales reports, top spenders, session tracking, social-media engagement, etc.
  • Access control: Manage access points, reduce queue times
  • Subscription building: Better privacy compliance, database building to multiple parties all in one execution
  • Offline-to-online acquisition tools: Brands and sponsors can onboard new consumers with directly measurable solutions

Case Studies in the Philippines
A look at the company’s recent work in the Philippines gives a good overview of how PouchNATION uses NFC, and MIFARE product technology in smart cards and wearables like wristbands, to create secure, hassle-free experiences for event attendees:

  • TAFISA 2016
    Held every four years, this internationally sponsored, week-long festival encourages everyday people to participate in physical activity and aims to protect and promote traditional sports and games. The 2016 Games, which took place in Indonesia’s capital city of Jakarta, involved a number of events, including a world kite festival, dragon boat races, and an extreme sports competition. In all, the event attracted more than 14,000 competitors and more than 100,000 spectators. PouchNATION made it a cashless event, supplying accreditation cards and food vouchers, while also managing access control.
  • Plus Six Three Music Festival
    As part of the annual Sinulog Festival, a cultural and religious event, held every January in Cebu City, that attracts nearly 2 million people each year, the upscale nightclub Cove Manila and the online fashion retailer Zalora Philippines hosted the Plus Six Three Festival, a two-day music and arts event. Attracting 8,000 attendees, it was the first cashless event ever held in Cebu City. PouchNATION provided the online ticket sales and custom NFC wristbands, managed event access and onsite cashless payments, and provided detailed data analytics. After the event, attendees could convert any leftover balances on their wristbands to Zalora wallet credits for use on the Zalora platform.
  • Brew Fest Manila
    This free-to-enter, three-day festival, attended by 3000 people in 2016, celebrates local beers and uses an innovative “rental” concept for cashless purchases. Attendees can rent an NFC card from the organizer for a dollar, top it up, and use their credits to make purchases while at the festival. When they leave, attendees turn in their cards, collect any remaining balances, and get their deposits back. At the end of the event, Brew Fest MNL returns the NFC cards to PouchNATION. PouchNATOIN collects 2% of all transactions, charges a rental fee for cards, and receives an additional dollar for each card not returned at the end of the event.
  • Jack Daniel’s Future Legends Indiefest
    Every two years, the Tennessee whiskey-maker Jack Daniels holds an awards ceremony to celebrate Philippine rock-and-roll artists. At each event, the winners from the previous awards ceremony put on an exclusive, invitation-only live concert. Music fans who have a registered profile with Jack Daniels can be invited and claim free entry. A limited number of tickets are sold on the day of the event, at the entrance. The entire event is cashless, with a no-cash-back policy for the NFC wristbands. But leftover balances don’t go to waste, as concert attendees can claim any remaining amount, along with automatic discounts, for their next purchase with the online retailer Zalora Philippines.

Partnering for Expansion

As a system integrator, PouchNATION brings together all the technologies needed to develop compelling, easy-to-use solutions, and plays a vital role in the broader NFC and MIFARE ecosystem. By accepting NXP’s invitation to become a MIFARE System Integrator Partner, PouchNATION joins NXP in making it easier for event managers to find complete solutions, based on the latest technology, that deliver tailored performance with maximum convenience.

With established operations in Indonesia, the Philippines, Singapore, and Vietnam, PouchNATION has ambitious plans for expansion into new markets. The company recently opened an office in Thailand, which is one of the region’s most popular locations for big events.

To help celebrate their recent expansion into Thailand, PouchNATION joined forces with NXP to put on a reception for clients, investors, and members of the press. Held in July 2017 at the prestigious Hive Thonglor, a rooftop garden bar in Bangkok, this special event gave attendees direct experience with wristbands and the live analytics they produce, and showcased the current capabilities of NFC technology and MIFARE solutions to deliver outstanding guest experiences.

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