The Best Payments Solutions for Events Businesses

Whether you’re a first-time event organiser or a seasoned veteran, you’ll know that getting payments right is key to a successful event. From ticketing to accepting payments on the day, the right payments system will make your life as organiser much easier and support a seamless customer experience that encourages attendees to spend more.

Cash is increasingly considered an old-school payment method. In fact, two-thirds of Australians carry a contactless card, and more than half of the transactions we make under $100 are paid for using contactless technology.   

Going cashless makes a lot of sense at events and festivals — contactless payments offer great speed (essential when you’re serving thousands of customers at once), convenience, and better safety for everyone – from attendees to stall holders and event organisers – with less cash onsite.     

Today’s leading payments systems offer an end-to-end solution for event organisers – from ticket sales online and at the door to event-day transactions on food, drinks and merchandise. Along with ease and convenience of use for staff and event attendees, they allow you to view transaction data in real-time to support informed decision making on the day.

If you’ve decided to move to cashless for your next event but are stuck deciding which payments system is right for you, read on for some general and event-specific considerations.  

1. Is it portable?

Portable payment hardware is an excellent idea for events. Despite the best planning, you’ll often find that one merchandise stall or bar has huge queues, while another identical stand is barely drawing a crowd. With a portable card reader, you can be flexible and move between stalls to accept payments wherever your customers are. A cordless solution means you can easily shift resources to where the crowds are and make sure you’re using onsite resources effectively. 

2. Is it easy to use?

Events rely on temp staff, so you’ll want a payments system that’s simple and intuitive for new users to learn and operate. Leading providers like Square allow you to keep it simple by managing system permissions by employee so that your staff only have access to the parts of the system they need. Customers can pay quickly and easily with tap-and-go cards, chip cards and via smartphone and smartwatch. Square’s contactless chip reader can process hundreds of transactions an hour, meaning you can serve more people. 

3. Is it secure?

If you’re processing thousands of transactions each hour, you need to know that your customers’ payment information is secure. Check that your provider offers multiple layers of encryption and monitors transactions for malicious or suspicious activity.

4. How much does it cost?

You should understand the upfront and ongoing costs of the payment solutions you’re considering for your event before making a decision.  

You’ll generally pay a percentage of the value of each transaction you process to your provider. It’s important to consider what you’re getting for that fee — traditional terminals process that payment and that’s it. Square’s fee included their advanced point-of-sale and team management software that allows you to track your sales and team across the whole event site. 

If your event is a once-off or infrequent thing, look for a provider with no monthly fees so you’ll only pay when you’re using their solution.  

5. Does it offer a wide range of payment options?

Festival-goers want to know that their card will be readily accepted by vendors – whether it’s a Visa, MasterCard, eftpos or American Express. Lots of them will likely leave their wallet or purse at home and carry just a single card or look to pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay. 

6. Does it allow you to track sales in real-time?

Regardless of your event experience, people’s behaviour will sometimes surprise you. While you can safely predict that lots of rain will result in strong poncho sales and cooler-than-expected weather will have customers searching for hoodies and other warm options, often there is no obvious explanation for how and why they’re spending. 

A payments system that aggregates all sales activity and allows you to monitor customer behaviour in real-time will support you with managing stock and staff more effectively on the day. You can ensure your workers are where you need them the most and identify any inventory issues as they happen. And, after the event, you can drill down into the data to understand what worked, what didn’t, and how you can more accurately plan for future events.

7. How quickly will you get your money?

Today’s payment systems provide much shorter deposit times than traditional providers like PayPal who take between three and five business days to transfer your payments to your account. Solutions like Square and Stripe offer payment within one or two business days – so you have your money faster.  

8. Is there solid customer support if something goes wrong?

If you’re relying on a payment system across your event, you want to know there’s support available if something goes wrong or you need technical support. Look for a provider that offers comprehensive customer support via their website, but also allows you to speak to a real human to resolve your issue.

Events specialists, Square powers many of Australia’s favourite festivals and events including Splendour in the Grass, GABS and Tough Mudder. Our flexible payment solutions support events organisers to reduce queues, increase sales and reduce the cost and security issues associated with handling large volumes of cash.  


Square is a total solution for events, giving you the integration options to sell tickets online and on the door, or even via our innovative online store product and point of sale technology. On event day, you can take customer payments quickly, easily and securely from anywhere at the venue, and receive those funds into your account as soon as the next business day.

Square offers a quick and easy sign up and you can start taking payments almost immediately with no credit checks or bank visits required. There are no monthly fees; you’ll only pay when you make a card sale. 

Find out more about Square on the website or call us on 1800 870 189 to get started.