Cashing in on Cashless in a Stadia Environment

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The theme of this article is Football Clubs however the exact same benefits of cashless environment sign up for other sporting venues including but not limited to racecourse, rugby club, motor racing routine, basketball club, athletics club etc. In fact the German F1 Grand Prix in Nurnberg in 2009, the 2010 Football World Cup in South Photography equipment, the 2012 Olympics in London, 2014 basketball World Cup in Italy have plans for cashless facilities and in the case of the German F1Grand Prix have already implemented a cashless solution. To demonstrate this point Sandra Alzetta, Visa Europe Senior VP for consumer market development, said “the aim is for a cashless Olympic Games in London in 2012”.

Couple of years we have seen a increase in e-payments or what is now been termed cashless payments, but what is the cause of this gallop towards removing cash from some environments. Well that is simple….. costs savings, revenue generation and efficiencies.

There have been great diversity of organisations implement cashless something or other including Local Authorities, Government, Schools & Universities, Sports Domains and more. All have realised significant benefits including modest revenue generation but moreover cost savings and efficiency gains. In fact one local authority have observed 60% increase over all efficiencies by issuing and entitlement card rather than paper vouchers and cheques.

The potential for generating revenue in most sectors is, as previously mentioned, modest however not so within the stadia environment where the increase in revenue for a well planned and implemented scheme can be significant. So when that is added to the benefits of holding the put in the account funds and having immediate access to the transactional data the attraction for football clubs is very clear. But is this just hype or are the financial benefits of cashless stadia truly a reality? They can be if the scheme is a closed scheme where the cashless solution operates only within the stadium and club shop, and where club is the custodian of the cashless scheme and the funds put in the account within it. This type of scheme could be managed by the club directly or the club could sign up a specialist organisation to manage the scheme on their behalf whilst retaining the overall control.

This approach vastly improves a business case based on income and also increases the club a primary relationship with the advocate and autonomy over the day to day operation of the cashless scheme including the all important scheme rules, in particular the break rules. How the cashless scheme is perceived by the admirers will be the critical success factor in terms of customer experience for every Cashless Stadia scheme. So in the closed scheme powered by the club, the fans are truly supporting the club on many fronts not just from the terraces and with the right scheme rules the club is directly responsible for the partnership with the admirers.

If, however, the club outsource the whole cashless process to an authorized then most of the financial benefits disappear along with the direct relationship with the advocate, but this does fit with a business case built around streamlining operations to just core functions. Control over the scheme operation and rules have also been passed to the any such supplier.

Also depending on the contract terms data sharing may also be less than ideal. Transactional data is really important for providing the club with the ability to dynamically create customized promotions and will be offering to the admirers via CRM. If data is not available on demand then selling those surplus XXXL away shirt in April may well be more of a blunderbuss rather than sniper approach.

On the face than it giving away all this control to an authorized is not the best approach, correct? Well that depends on what the club already have a collection of requirements. If the clubs view is that they are in the business of playing football and achieving success on the pitch, and the in business cost of a cashless solution of their stadia is a necessary evil, then outsourced workers the total scheme is exactly the right thing to do. However if the aim is to be able to efficiently manage and nurture the partnership with the advocate whilst generating additional income from intelligent but uncomplicated use of the transactional data, then outsourced workers the whole cashless scheme would be madness.

The choice to go cashless either completely or in just one section of a stadia is not an easy one to make and must be done after properly studying the clubs overall objectives and other considerations such as the contractual arrangements with other suppliers such as caterers etc. Then and only then can and informed decision be made for a best fit solution and how it should be implemented to ensure the highest rate of customer delight and take up is achieved.

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