Building Universal Attractions a State-of-the-art Contactless Payment Platform

GWD Worked with Universal Attractions to design, build and deploy from the ground up a payment system based on RFID cards for use around the popular amusement park. Universal had an incumbent system, but were looking for more. GWD provided a flexible, on-brand solution that fitted seamlessly into the park’s existing workflow for the transitional season, while providing scope for major efficiency gains to be realised by expansion in the first close season. Comprising touch-screen cashier PCs, touch-screen android tablets for park operators and touch-screen self-service payment kiosks, the ride payment system facilitated many millions of pounds worth of ride and attraction payments in its first season of operation.


Why did Universal Attractions choose GWD?

Universal were looking for something more than their existing provider could offer. They wanted flexibility to make their payment system work for them, and they wanted an aesthetic that matched their own carefully created brand. When it was clear that an off-the-shelf product couldn’t meet their requirements, park owner Norman Wallis approached GWD about a custom built approach. GWD visited the site and analysed the existing system, as well as interviewing key stakeholders in operational and financial roles around the park before preparing a proposal for the immediate replacement, and future direction of Universal Attraction’s ideal payment system.


How did GWD add value to the project?

GWD brought together all the disparate elements required to make a success of an ambitious project such as this one. A combination of UK-based RFID consultants, international hardware manufacturers both off-the-shelf and bespoke as well as GWD’s in-house software team came together to deliver the project in the narrow three-month window before the go-live date of early spring 2016. GWD worked closely with operational staff to streamline and iterate the cashier application to be more efficient while retaining an excellent user-experience, improving efficiency and reducing queues in the park. The self-service kiosks also proved popular with park visitors and staff; as a result of this success, the park will increase their number of self-service kiosks substantially, allowing more customers to make use of them at once and freeing up park staff for customer service duties. Following a quick turnaround of the project and a baptism of fire due to launching on one of Universal’s busiest days, GWD’s robust cloud platform, live monitoring and anomaly reporting allowed issues to be identified quickly and resolved with minimal disruption to the park’s operations.


At Universal Attractions, our priority is to give our guests a memorable experience, which is why we wanted a payment system, that was designed with theme parks in mind. Working with GW Devices to implement a new system has greatly improved the end-to-end process in our park and we were impressed by the way they delivered the project and put our needs first in the process. We looking forward to reaping the benefits of this over the coming seasons.

Norman Wallis, Managing Director


What technologies were GWD good with?


  • Touch-screen devices
  • Payment devices
  • Tablets
  • WiFi
  • RFID