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New devices will allow St. Patrick’s wristband sales without cash

New technology will be making things easier for St. Patrick’s Day festivalgoers if they run out of green over the holiday weekend.

The food truck park and wristband tent near Bay and Barnard Streets as well as the wrist band tent in Johnson Square are giving attendees the option to make purchases with credit or debit cards by utilizing the Clover Point of Sale solution from technology company First Data. It’s the first time wristbands have been available for purchase without using cash.

“It gives customers the ability to pay the way they want to pay,” said Mike Lazzaro of First Data, who partnered with the Savannah Waterfront Association and Savannah Downtown Business Association to bring in the system this year.

“More importantly, in a very crowded area, it’s safer for everyone. Merchants don’t lose money and customers don’t lose money,” he said.

Karen Guinn, president of the SDBA said that the new partnership will benefit local merchants by providing them with more flexibility while giving them access to the latest technology.

“It’s especially important for our small business community to have a partner like First Data and Clover that truly understand the need of small businesses and the challenges they face,” she said.

“It’s all about convenience, great customer service and providing helpful solutions,” Guinn said.

The handheld sales devices are wireless and also have a faster transaction time than traditional systems.

They even accelerate the sometimes bulky process of using a chip reader.

According to Lazzaro, it cuts the process down to about three seconds.

“We all kind of fumble with (chip cards), but we have a very fast device, and we’re very proud of that,” he said. “… The faster the lines move the more customers can come through.”

Although the long lines hadn’t yet arrived at the wristband tents and food trucks on Thursday,

Christine Grow, who was working the Molly MacPherson’s truck Thursday shortly after lunch, said the system had already sped things up for those who had come through.

“Most of our transactions are credit cards, and we used to have the device for the bottom of the iPhone, so this one has the chip reader in it, which is a lot nicer,” Grow said.

“We’re expecting a big crowd tomorrow and Saturday. We’ve been out here for a few years, and there’s always a big turnout no matter the weather.”

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In Case You Missed It