Sunday, May 26, 2024

Improving the sports fan experience in stadiums with modern payments

By Sander Meijers, Country Manager, Adyen Canada

Stadiums have always been the heart of live entertainment, creating a common place for millions of sports fans to gather and cheer on their favourite teams. However, the newest player in the game isn’t on the field. It’s payments technology and it’s changing how we view and interact with live events, improving the game for people around the world.

We’re in new territory: an era of swift, convenient transactions. In the excitement of a live game, many don’t realize the role that payments technology plays. But when the craving for a frosty drink or tasty snack kicks in, its essential role becomes clear.

Speed on and off the field

Time is of the essence in a bustling stadium, especially when you’re waiting in line and eager to return for the drop of the puck at a Leafs game or the Raptors’ tip off after half time. This is where contactless payments shine. Near Field Communication (NFC) technology is a game changer in the payments sphere, allowing for quick, effortless transactions through any NFC-enabled device.

Fans at a stadium event can now authorize payments using mobile phones and wearable devices, using fingerprint scans, facial recognition, or passcodes. The need for physical cash or cards is gone. This method saves time, reduces the risk of missing out on the action, and enhances the overall experience–whether you’re catching the start of the season for the Toronto FC or rooting for the Blue Jays in the playoffs.

But there’s more to the story. Speed and efficiency of transactions play a critical role on any event day. Modernized cash register systems are part of this evolution, too. To complement this, stadiums have turned to fintech platforms to trim down transaction times, increasing efficiency and ultimately improving the customer experience.

Special offers and incentives served up in real time

The magic of payments technology is not just in efficiency. Event organizers are starting to harness the vast power of payments data to understand consumer behavior and patterns. In turn, this allows them to make well-informed decisions, tailoring experiences to their fans.

POS systems aid in this transformation, offering insights and allowing the creation of personalized incentives to drive fan loyalty. Imagine being notified of a discounted food combo during a halftime intermission. This level of personalization brings convenience and reaffirms the potential of payments technology.

The epitome of convenient in-store shopping

We’re also starting to see autonomous retail gain popularity in stadiums. Fans can now enter a store, order items via mobile apps and pay using their pre-authorized payment card. No waiting in line or stopping at a cashier to get your favourite player’s jersey anymore.

The checkout process is made invisible because payments are processed automatically, saving time for fans. Returning customers can even benefit from features that personalize their experience further.

Going paperless with digital tickets and QR codes

Digital ticketing is eco-friendly, convenient, and secure. Gone are the days of physical tickets; access to events is now just a smartphone app away.

This helps stadium staff focus on improving the fan experience in various ways, thanks to smart ticketing. Now they have more time to assist crowd management, provide guidance, or support , in other operations.

Soak it all in when you catch your next home game

The evolution of stadiums with the adoption of modern payment solutions is taking the fan experience to new heights. The move to cashless transactions not only reduces the chance of theft and fraud but also simplifies the payment process.

Fans can now fully immerse themselves in the excitement of the game without worrying about their belongings or missing out on the action, that overtime goal or strong opening of the period. The seamless integration of payments technology has introduced a new level of convenience, setting the bar for modern sports venues.

The future of stadium experiences is bright. And it’s powered, in part, by innovative payments technology that helps fans enjoy the thrill of the game with newfound ease and peace of mind.


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