Published on March 8, 2021
The two European leaders in cashless payment solutions have merged to form one company, offering their combined expertise to the leisure and entertainment sector.
The newly merged group will now be represented by six offices with more than 100 employees and over 1200 cashless event clients around the world including major music festivals like Lollapalooza (in Paris, Berlin and Santiago), Rock Werchter, Main Square, Hellfest, Rock En Seine, Frequency and Nova Rock, and prominent sports brands like Formula 1, Red Bull Air Race, Paris St. Germain FC, Lausanne FC and the William Hill World Darts Championship. The combined offering will represent an annual turnover of over £400 million.
Cashless payments at events have become increasingly popular in recent years, offering a revolutionary way for organisers to manage onsite sales and improve attendee experience. The use of NFC (Near Field Contact) wristbands or cards has been widespread across Europe, spearheaded largely by Weezevent and PlayPass – and this success is hoped to be repeated in the UK.
The merger will see Steve Jenner of PlayPass and Olly Goddard of Weezevent jointly head up the group’s UK division. The deal will also lead to the expansion of the group’s offices in Paris, Madrid, Antwerp, Lausanne and Montreal. The in-house development team will also be expanded with further investment to continue the development of its highly disruptive proprietary technology.
Weezevent’s CEO, Pierre-Henri Deballon, had this to say about co-founders of Playpass, David De Wever and Dale Hoens: “David, Dale and their teams share the same passion and vision as Weezevent for delivering a world class cashless experience, and after eight years of healthy competition, the time has come to form a new team that is stronger, more ambitious and more confident than ever.”
De Wever added: “Our two companies are highly complementary and the consolidation of our expertise and experience now makes it possible to form the leader in cashless event solutions. The return to a normal post-Covid situation will accelerate the adoption of cashless everywhere. This is about being ready for the market while continuing to innovate.”
The fact that this merger has taken place during a pandemic that has affected the entire events sector for more than a year highlights the need for cooperation and collaboration in moving forward towards a return to normal. Pre-orders for click-and-collect drinks, social distancing measures and adapted access control protocols for mass gatherings, are all now catered-for in the group’s latest product set.
“2020 promised a much wider adoption of cashless technology at events before our industry was put into lockdown. Though this natural progression was interrupted, we are looking forward to a productive 2021 and beyond, and our merger with PlayPass will put us in an even stronger position to deliver what consumers want and events need,” said Olly Goddard.
Steve Jenner added, “As a competitor we have always held the utmost respect for Weezevent, in particular the strength of their technology, team and commitment to improving the visitor experience. To join forces with them at this time is a really exciting opportunity for us, our clients and the UK’s live events industry, placing us in a much stronger position to not only help the sector get back on its feet faster, but to emerge stronger than ever.”
UK festivals planning their return this summer using the group’s cashless technology include Standon Calling, 2000Trees, Black Deer, ArcTangent, Lakefest, Neverworld and the inaugural UnLocked Festival, with more to be announced over the coming weeks.