German E-Fission . . . See?

RFID Operations reports that the 12 German stadia hosting games for the 2006 World Cup will embed RFID chips in tickets.

According to the report, Royal Philips Electronics won a contract to provide many of the chips for the 3.2 million tickets that will be needed at those stadiums. For the World Cup games, the RFID tags will be embedded "inside regular paper tickets that can be imprinted with sponsor logos and kept by fans as souvenirs."

Benefits of the system highlighted in the article, many of which I described in the context of bar code-enabled game tickets, include:

  • control of access to games
  • security
  • ease of use
  • difficult to counterfeit
  • prevents people from passing tickets to others once inside the stadium
  • speed up the entrance of fans
  • assists logistical adjustments
  • contactless and durable

While FIFA claims that the chips will store access information only, and that no personal information will be included, the same cannot be said for regular Bundesliga play after the World Cup is over. The difference is that the former is a short-term event, while the latter is a long-term league with season ticket holders. The expense incurred in modernizing the German stadia for 2006 is simply the cost required to subsequently have that personalized season ticket holder information.

The Cologne system investment was a six-figure investment and is designed to supply payment functions that will eventually boost revenues in fan shops and at concession stands, Däuper says. The electronic payment function is planned for the next season.

"Some people say sales could rise 10%, others say they could rise 40% to 50%," Däuper said, because fans tend to spend more when they don't have to pay with cash for their drinks and souvenirs (emphasis added).

Contactless chips. Frictionless economics. Pantactile data-gathering. Hmmmm . . .

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