Zebra targets ticket fraud with wristband expansion

Zebra wristbandsZebra Technologies has expanded its wristband range to stamp out ticket fraud at entertainment venues.

The HC100 wristband printer was first applied to the healthcare sector, where Zebra claims it improves patient safety and compliance. In a healthcare setting HC100 aids identification by adding patient data and a barcode to the wristband. Zebra thinks the same capabilities can benefit the leisure market.

"Improved guest identification enables better management over counterfeit prevention and theft control in leisure and entertainment venues," Andres Gustafsson, CEO of Zebra, said during the company's third quarter results conference call.

Zebra is aiming the wristbands at amusement parks, sporting events and zoos. As well as cutting the risk of people with fake wristbands getting in, the one- or two-dimensional barcodes can also accelerate transactions.

The wristbands aimed at the entertainment sector – Z-Band Fun and Z-Band Splash – print at 102mm per second, twice the speed of the healthcare version. Quick printing makes it viable to produce the wristbands on the gates of entertainment venues, cutting the risk of ticket fraud.

Zebra boosted its position in wristbands for tracking assets and people with the acquisition of privately-held LaserBand LLC in July for $59m. As an independent company LaserBand had sales of around $24m a year, with the bulk of its revenues coming from the provision of patient identification wristbands used in healthcare facilities.

Third-quarter results

Meanwhile, Zebra reported on the conference call that third-quarter sales were down fractionally to $252m - pegged back by currency factors - while net income fell 40 per cent to $27m. A strong performance in North America and Latin America was offset by declines in Asia Pacific and the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region.

"Zebra delivered strong results in a challenged environment on the basis of the diversity of our business," commented Gustafsson.

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