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Selecting a Payments Solution for Your Event Ticketing.

Andy Robertson

An often-neglected aspect of managing your event is the collection of ticket sales revenue. Perhaps it’s a subject considered too complex with too much choice to think about so it often gets ignored. Selecting the right payment method can save you a fortune in fees and charges and provide additional service that will enhance customer satisfaction.

Many event companies use specialist ticketing agent companies as it's easy to do and you don't have to worry about it but their extra charges to end customers can affect your sales. Assuming you have your own event website you can consider using one of the main recognised payment solutions that can easily be incorporated into your ticket purchase checkout. Google Pay, PayPal and Stripe are probably the most widely used solutions for digital payments and each one can be quickly and easily set up. 

Whatever payment solution you use the transaction fees and charges are broadly the same with most charging 2.9% plus $0.30, however some differences occur when considering dispute charges (PayPal $20 vs. Stripe 0.4%) and to authorise some cards (PayPal $0.30 vs. Stripe free). Whichever solution you consider using your own payment solution will mean you can sell tickets for your event at a substantially cheaper price to customers than via Ticketmaster for example. Ticketmaster have a convoluted charging system that makes tickets sold to your customers more expensive and typically they add a minimum of $10-$15 to the retail price. These fees break down with a facility charge (which goes to the venue operator), a "convenience charge," some of which goes to Ticketmaster, the promoter, credit card companies and artists. Then an additional "order processing fee" and a charge to print your own ticket. Obviously, this is going to have an impact on your ticket sales assuming you use a basic supply and demand methodology.      

Ease of Integration.
If you are operating a small event company then PayPal and Google Pay are probably the easiest to integrate. Both companies have a simple step by step process that walks you through set up and you can be up and running very quickly. To integrate Stripe does require an element of technical understanding as their API code must be integrated into your online checkout system. Each payment solution allows you to run dummy payments to test the payment system is operating as it should. Be aware of regulatory financial compliance rules too as in most cases your event company must pass these requirements and this can delay implementation. 

Ease of Use and End User Trust.
End users need to trust the payment options you provide which is no problem for PayPal and Google Pay as both companies are globally trusted brands, Stripe is unknown but that is less of an issue because it sits silently in the background unseen by the end user. For ease of use Stripe has the upper hand, the payment transaction process for end users can be completed in a minimal number of clicks (one or two) so it’s quick and efficient. For PayPal and Google Pay the process may involve jumping around different browser tabs as the end user goes through the authorisation process. This takes longer and requires the end user to enter multiple sets of payment data.  

Perhaps it will come down to personal preference and user experience but the whole payments market is developing fast. There is not really much to choose between the providers on fees and costs alone. For building end user trust choose PayPal or Google Pay but for convenience and speed of payment Stripe may be better.

If you use an event software solution like FestivalPro you will find their Ticketing functionality already has built in payments connections making the process easy. The guys who are responsible for this software have been in the front line of event management for many years and are performance artists themselves. Using FestivalPro takes the worry out of your payments process and simplifies your event ticketing. 

Photo by PhotoMIX Ltd. from Pexels

Andy Robertson
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