Do you worry about the security of your zoo or aquarium's ticketing system? You’re not alone. Many zoo and aquarium managers get it, especially when shifting to cloud-based ticketing software for zoos and aquariums with cashless payment solutions. In fact, in 2023, a staggering 36% of all suspected online fraud incidents targeted the travel and leisure industry. You don't want to expose sensitive customer data or financial transactions to potential threats. But with the right approach, online ticketing can offer a secure, efficient, and reliable way to manage payments.

At TicketingHub, we've helped zoos and aquariums set up secure, digital ticketing solutions. You can count on us to make your transition to cashless payments smooth and secure.

In this article, you will learn how to secure cashless payments using zoo and aquarium reservation software. We’ll cover the security features you should look for, best practices to maintain security, and how to train your staff to keep your systems secure. Then, you’ll have the confidence to set up a cashless payment system that enhances both your operational efficiency and your visitors’ experience.

Understanding Cloud-Based Ticketing Software

Cloud-based ticketing or online booking software is evolving how zoos and aquariums sell tickets and connect with visitors. Unlike manual ticketing and reservation systems, which are prone to errors and inefficiencies, hosted solutions use the internet to provide a more flexible, scalable, and secure approach to reserving tours.

Online zoo software for bookings operates on remote servers hosted on the cloud rather than on local servers or personal computers. This means that data and software are accessible online from any device, giving you a seamless and unified user experience.

image of a man managing a business dashboard remotely
Fast and easy access control solutions lets you to take charge of your zoo reservations on-the-go.

Key Features of Cloud-Based Ticketing Systems

  1. Accessibility: You can access the zoo management software from anywhere, so you can control your zoo bookings remotely and update them in real-time. This is handy for you since zoos and aquariums use multiple points of sale.
  2. Scalability: Zoo reservation systems are easy to scale to handle growing crowds or new services, such as special events and memberships.
  3. Automatic Updates: The service provider automatically deploys software updates and security patches, so the system stays up-to-date for you.
  4. Integration Capabilities: These systems can also hook you into other tools, such as CRM systems, marketing tools, and secure payment processing gateways. This way, you get a cohesive ecosystem that makes your business run better.

How does online ticketing solutions work?

If a visitor buys a ticket online or at a kiosk via POS systems, their transaction details go to the cloud where they're processed and stored securely. A digital ticket is issued, the inventory is updated, and the payment is verified in real-time. For cashless payments, the payment information is encrypted to make sure it's safe.

Your visitors can enjoy a smooth, modern ticketing experience while you benefit from cloud technology's speed, efficiency, and security features.

5 Reasons Why You Need Cashless Payments in Zoos and Aquariums

image of a cashless transaction

There's a lot to like about implementing cashless payment methods in zoos and aquariums. These perks extend beyond just visitor convenience; they improve operations, security, and data storage as well. Consider these 5 benefits.

1. Enhances the Visitor Experience

  • Convenience: Using cashless payment solutions means a faster, smoother entry process with QR codes. There will be fewer long lines, and people will have more time to enjoy the park.
  • Contactless Payments: For both visitors and staff, contactless payments minimize physical contact, improving safety and hygienic conditions.

2. Improves your Zoo’s Operational Efficiency

  • Speed: Cashless transaction processing is generally quicker than cash payments, leading to reduced transaction times and more output.
  • Resource Allocation: Having fewer cash-handling tasks frees up staff to focus on customer service.

3. Enhanced Security

  • Reduced Theft and Loss: A cashless system minimizes the risk of theft, especially in high-traffic environments such as zoos and aquariums.
  • Real-Time Monitoring: Using a cloud-based system lets you monitor transactions in real-time, making it easier to detect suspicious activity.

4. Better Financial Management

  • Accurate Reporting: Online transactions provide accurate and detailed records, so you can track your finances better. Data like this can help you analyze visitor spending patterns and maximize revenue.
  • Reduced Cash Handling Costs: Getting rid of cash reduces the costs of counting, storing, and transporting funds.

5. Data Insights and Personalization

  • Visitor Insights: Online ticketing systems collect valuable information on visitor behavior and preferences, so you can make marketing strategies, personalize customer service, and improve guest experience.
  • Loyalty Programs: Integrating cashless payments with loyalty programs allows for easy rewards tracking and redemption, boosting repeat business.

Your zoos and aquariums can create a more efficient, secure, and enjoyable environment for visitors and staff by moving to the cloud. Besides providing convenience, reservation software can help you save time, get more visitors, and increase revenue.

But since you’re moving to the cloud, be careful with cybersecurity. So what are the security features you should look for in a cloud-based zoo management software?

Know these 8 Security Features to Look For in a Zoo Software Solution

image of a cashless transaction with izettle

Your zoo or aquarium should prioritize security when choosing an online booking software solution. Make sure the system has robust security features to protect visitors' information. Here are some of them:

1. Data Encryption

  • End-to-end Encryption: To prevent unauthorized users from viewing your data, ensure the software uses end-to-end encryption. This means data is encrypted from the moment it is entered until it arrives at its final destination.
  • SSL/TLS Protocols: Look for software like TicketingHub that uses Secure Socket Layer (SSL) or Transport Layer Security (TLS) protocols to encrypt data transmitted between the user's device and the server.

2. PCI DSS Compliance

  • Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS): Verify that the software complies with PCI DSS, which sets security standards to ensure secure credit card processing, storing, and transmitting.

3. Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)

  • Additional Layer of Security: 
  • In MFA, users have to verify their identity with two or more verification factors. These can be something they know (password), something they have (security token), or something they are (biometrics).

4. Secure Payment Gateways

  • Trusted Providers: Ensure that the booking software only integrates with reputable and secure payment gateways. Trusted payment gateways add an extra layer of security and reliability to the transaction process.
  • Tokenization: It's better if payment gateways use tokenization, which replaces sensitive payment info with a unique identifier or token.

5. Regular Security Audits and Updates

  • Frequent Audits: Choose a provider that conducts regular security audits to identify and rectify vulnerabilities. These audits help maintain the integrity and security of the system.
  • Automatic Updates: Keep your system protected against emerging threats by ensuring the software offers automatic updates for security patches and new features.

6. User Access Controls

  • Role-Based Access: Using role-based access controls, you can restrict system access based on a user's role, which limits the potential damage insiders can do, and ensures that only the information they need is available.
  • Activity Logging: Zoo bookings should log all user activities so that administrators can monitor and review them. This helps to catch and respond to suspicious behavior right away.

7. Secure Data Storage

  • Cloud Security: Check that your cloud provider follows best practices for data security, such as secure data storage and backups.
  • Data Privacy Regulations: Comply with data privacy regulations, like the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

8. Incident Response Plan

  • Preparedness: Choose a zoo system provider with a robust incident response plan in place. In this plan, you should outline the steps you will take in case of a security breach, including notification, containment, and recovery strategies.

If you prioritize these security features, your online ticketing system will keep your zoo and aquarium safe and secure when processing cashless payments. In addition to protecting your finances, it builds trust with your visitors.

10 Things You Can Do to Secure Online Transactions When Booking Tours

cyberthreats are emerging

If you want a cashless payment system that's safe, reliable, and compliant with industry standards, you have to follow these best practices. Here's how to keep your zoo or aquarium's payment process safe, reliable, and compliant:

1. Conduct a Security Risk Assessment

  • Identify Vulnerabilities: Conduct comprehensive security risk assessments on your payment system on a regular basis.
  • Mitigate Risks: Focus on areas with the most potential impact to develop and implement strategies to lessen identified risks.

2. Choose Reputable Software Providers

  • Research Providers: Select zoo ticketing software providers with a strong reputation for security and reliability.
  • Check References: Look on review sites, case studies, and references from other zoos and aquariums to ensure the provider has a proven track record.

3. Implement Strong Password Policies

  • Complex Passwords: Require the use of complex passwords that combine letters, numbers, and special characters.
  • Regular Updates: Keep regular password changes and discourage the reuse of old passwords.
  • Password Management: Use a password manager to securely store and manage passwords.

4. Use Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)

  • Layered Security: Implement MFA for all user logins to add an extra layer of security. This makes it harder for unauthorized users to gain access to the system.
  • Authentication Methods: Apply different authentication methods, such as SMS codes, authenticator apps, or biometric verification.

5. Monitor and Audit Transactions

  • Real-Time Monitoring: Set up real-time monitoring of transactions to detect and respond to suspicious activities quickly.
  • Regular Audits: Conduct regular audits of payment processes and transactions to ensure compliance with security policies and identify any irregularities.

6. Train Staff on Security Protocols

  • Comprehensive Training: Provide ample training for all staff on security protocols, including how to identify and respond to potential threats.
  • Regular Updates: Keep staff updated on the latest security practices and emerging threats through ongoing training sessions and workshops.

7. Encrypt Sensitive Data

  • Data Encryption: Ensure all sensitive data, including payment information, is encrypted both in transit and at rest.
  • Secure Storage: Use secure storage solutions to protect encrypted data from unauthorized access.

8. Maintain Compliance with Regulations

  • Regulatory Standards: Stay informed about and comply with relevant regulatory standards, such as PCI DSS, GDPR, and other local data protection laws.
  • Regular Updates: Regularly review and update your security practices to ensure ongoing compliance with evolving regulations.

9. Develop an Incident Response Plan

  • Preparedness: Have a robust incident response plan to quickly and effectively respond to security breaches.
  • Response Team: Designate a response team and provide them with the necessary tools and training to manage incidents.
  • Communication Protocols: Establish clear communication protocols for notifying stakeholders and affected individuals in the event of a breach.

10. Back-Up Data Regularly

  • Automated Backups: Implement automated backups to ensure that all critical data is regularly backed up and can be restored in case of data loss or corruption.
  • Secure Backup Storage: Store backups in a secure, off-site location to protect them from physical and cyber threats.

Follow these best practices to make your cashless payment system more secure. This protects your financial transactions and customer data, as well as ensuring your customers personal information are safe.

How to Train Your Staff for Cybersecurity

image of a team of staff conducting a training program for cybersecurity awareness

There's more to cashless payments in zoos and aquariums than just software and protocols, there's also a need for well-trained staff to make sure they're secure. Maintaining security depends on your staff, so their training has to be comprehensive and ongoing. So here's how to get your staff trained.

1. Comprehensive Initial Training

  • Security Protocols: Start with detailed training on the security protocols specific to your cloud-based booking system. This should include how to handle transactions, manage user access, and detect potential threats.
  • System Familiarity: Ensure that staff are fully familiar with the booking software, including its security features and how to use them correctly.
  • Compliance Requirements: Educate staff on relevant regulatory compliance requirements, such as PCI DSS and GDPR, and their roles in maintaining compliance.

2. Regular Refresher Courses

  • Ongoing Education: Offer regular refresher courses to keep staff updated on the latest security practices and emerging threats. This helps reinforce good habits and ensures that security knowledge stays current.
  • Scenario-Based Training: Use real-world scenarios and simulations to help staff practice responding to security incidents, such as data breaches or phishing attempts.

3. Role-Specific Training

  • Tailored Content: Provide role-specific training tailored to the responsibilities and access levels of different staff members. For example, IT personnel will need more technical training, while front-line staff will need training focused on transaction handling and customer interactions.
  • Access Control: Ensure that each staff member understands the importance of access control and follows the principle of least privilege, only accessing information necessary for their role.

4. Encourage a Security-First Culture

  • Promote Awareness: Foster a culture of security awareness where all staff understand the importance of security and feel responsible for maintaining it. Regularly communicate the latest security updates and best practices.
  • Reward Vigilance: Recognize and reward staff who demonstrate vigilance and adherence to security protocols. This can help motivate others to take security seriously.

5. Clear Incident Reporting Procedures

  • Reporting Protocols: Establish clear procedures for reporting security incidents or suspicious activities. Staff should know who to contact and what to do if they spot a threat.
  • Encourage Reporting: Encourage staff to report incidents without fear of reprimand. You can prevent a minor security breach from becoming a major one by responding quickly.

6. Use of Secure Practices in Daily Operations

  • Secure Transactions: Train staff on secure transaction practices, such as verifying payment methods and avoiding handling sensitive information directly.
  • Personal Device Policies: Set up and enforce policies about using personal devices at work. Secure any personal devices that are accessing the system with strong passwords and encryption.

7. Regular Security Audits and Feedback

  • Audit Participation: Involve staff in regular security audits to help identify potential vulnerabilities and areas for improvement. Their experience on the front line can help you understand practical security issues.
  • Feedback Mechanism: Establish a mechanism for staff to provide feedback on security protocols and suggest improvements. This can help you refine your training programs and security measures continuously.

Invest in security training for your staff and you'll be able to make a strong first line of defense. In addition to helping protect your zoo or aquarium's finances and sensitive data, well-trained staff also helps foster a security culture throughout your entire zoo operation.

Case Studies

Let us examine how various businesses have successfully implemented cloud-based booking software to demonstrate the impact of these solutions. SumUp's partnership with TicketingHub illustrates how payments for tours, events, and attractions have changed.

Read this feature article on SumUp here

1. Immersive Gamebox

immersive gamebox

Challenges: Immersive Gamebox needed a cashless payment solution to support its global operations across the United States, the United Kingdom, and Germany.

Solutions: By adopting SumUp’s card payment solutions, Immersive Gamebox seamlessly integrated cashless payments into its operations, offering visitors the convenience of contactless payments.


  • Global Payment Acceptance: The ability to accept credit cards and other cashless payments enhanced the visitor experience.
  • Efficient Management: The centralized dashboard streamlined the tracking of on-site and online bookings, boosting productivity and backend efficiency.

2. Viking Splash Tours

viking splash tours website

Challenges: Viking Splash Tours required a mobile payment solution for handling sales on-the-go during their tours.

Solutions: Using SumUp’s POS solutions, Viking Splash Tours enabled mobile payment acceptance, allowing payments to be processed easily via phones or tablets.


  • Mobile Payments: The flexibility to take payments on tours increased convenience for both the operators and their customers.
  • Enhanced Credibility: With a reputable payment system, customers felt confident in the security of their transactions.

3. Liverpool City Sights

liverpool city sights website

Challenges: Liverpool City Sights needed a cashless payment solution to enhance their bus tour experience.

Solutions: Integrating SumUp’s card readers with their booking platform, they facilitated cashless payments at bus stops.


  • Improved Customer Experience: The ease of cashless payments streamlined the ticket purchasing process, enhancing the overall tour experience.
  • Productivity Boost: Synchronizing sales inventory in a centralized dashboard maximized operational efficiency.

These case studies show how well cloud-based ticketing is. With TicketingHub and SumUp, businesses like Immersive Gamebox, Viking Splash Tours, and Liverpool City Sights have enhanced their payment processes, making them safer and more convenient.

You Can Have Safe and Secure Cashless Payments!

Making sure your zoo or aquarium has safe cashless payments is super important. When you use a reliable booking system, like TicketingHub, and choose trusted payment gateways such as SumUp, you can protect your visitors’ financial information. Keeping a cybersecurity-conscious workplace through proper training and regular security audits is also key.

With TicketingHub's cloud-based zoo ticketing software, you can make your operations more efficient and improve your visitors' experience while keeping their data secure. Following these steps will help you create a safe, friendly, and fun environment for everyone.

Ready to see the difference? Book a free demo of TicketingHub's zoo booking software today and take your visitor experience to the next level!

easiest way to sell more tickets with ticketinghub

FAQ Section

1. How can cloud-based ticketing software improve the overall visitor experience at zoos and aquariums?

Cloud-based ticketing software can greatly enhance the overall visitor experience by making processes more efficient and seamless. 

With a user-friendly interface, visitors can easily purchase tickets online or at self-service kiosks, reducing wait times and human errors. This software supports various functions like ticket sales, guided tours, educational programs, and efficient membership management. 

It also integrates with point of sale (POS) systems for merchandise sales, beverage sales, and gift shops, ensuring a smooth visit for your guests. Additionally, features like smart locks and data collection can further enhance security and provide valuable insights to improve your operations.

2. How does cloud-based ticketing software help in securing cashless payments and reducing human errors?

Using cloud-based ticketing software ensures that cashless payments are secure and reduces the chances of human errors. Reliable booking systems with trusted payment gateways like SumUp guarantee safe transactions. POS systems integrated with the software streamline payment processes for ticket sales, merchandise sales, and beverage sales, making it easy for guests to pay and spend money securely. 

Regular security audits and staff training in cybersecurity practices help maintain a safe environment. Moreover, this software allows for efficient data collection and management, further minimizing the risk of errors and enhancing the overall visitor experience at animal parks like zoos, aquariums, and even amusement parks.

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