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Benefits of NPL clubs going cashless – here’s why

Cash is briskly becoming the least likely payment option in the modern world. As is the case in football stadiums.

The United Kingdom is populated with both professional and semi-pro football clubs and in a case study of the nationwide usage of cash in 2018, there were 39.3 billion Euro handed over in transactions, with 28 per cent of those using hard copy currency.

We’ve already seen one of the leading clubs in England take a futuristic initiative. Tottenham Hotspur made their new 62,000 capacity home ground the first completely cashless stadium in the United Kingdom.

In a world that is continuing to evolve with technology and its availability, NPL and A-League clubs could well consider introducing the cashless alternative into their game day experience for fans.

In this day in age, people are less inclined to carry cash in their pockets, particularly those in the younger demographic.

Australian football should start considering introducing cashless purchases and ATM machines at all venues, whether it be at NPL or A-League level.

There are lessons to be learned from the UK. Here are the top four benefits of going cashless.

Save on labour costs

Accepting cash payments at your stadium business means committing valuable staff time to several tasks that will simply disappear if you choose to go cashless. Setting up cash floats at the beginning of the day, periodically refilling the registers with change, counting and reconciling cash for each register at the end of the day and making bank deposits all become redundant.

With cashless payments, everything is digitised through your POS system, meaning clubs are ready to go as soon as the till is switched on and all counting time is eliminated. By doing this, some UK venues are reporting labour cost savings of up to 2 hours per day per staff member.

Additional benefits include vastly reducing the risk of exposing your business to human error and, because card and mobile transactions are automatically reconciled with your bank, there is also no need to pay for a security team to support your business with bank transfers.

Increase the volume of sales

On average, it takes 15 seconds to complete a cash transaction. By contrast, chip and pin takes between 5-8 seconds and contactless transactions can be completed in just 2 seconds.

A few seconds may sound insignificant but let’s consider the difference this could make within a typical 15-minute (900 second) half-time period.

900 seconds = 60 cash transactions = at £30 per transaction = £1,800

900 seconds = 450 contactless transactions = at £30 per transaction = £13,500

While this comparison isn’t entirely accurate (there would of course be additional time to factor in while people are selecting and placing their orders), the point is well made. As well as increasing revenue, the increase in speed also improves the experience for fans who really don’t want to miss any of the action whilst queuing for food or merchandise.

Increase average spend

There have been several studies which compare card to cash payments and the simple fact is, that when using a card, people will spend more – and significantly so.

In fact, it has been reported that the average customer spend per visit to a stadium event can increase by as much as 25% when using a card payment instead of cash.

Reduce fraud and theft

Another significant reason to go cashless is the improvements such a strategy can bring around fraud and theft, both of which are serious issues for the stadium sector.

Not only is the sight of tills and cash boxes highly attractive to thieves who may be targeting your venue, but also the often-transient nature of a stadium’s workforce can make it vulnerable to fraud or theft from within.

Moving to a cashless point of sale system vastly reduces such opportunities as digital transactions are easier to track and any discrepancies will also be much easier to spot.

There are many reasons for Australian football stadiums to explore the cashless option. The sooner they do, the sooner they will catch up to the European trends that are setting the standard for stadium experience.

Liam Watson is the Managing Editor at Soccerscene. He reports widely on football policy, industry matters and technology.

FIFA and Mexican Football Federation’s Supercopa Femenil to encourage growth in women’s football

FIFA

With the financial support of FIFA, the Mexican Football Federation has launched the FIFA | FMF Supercopa Femenil (Women’s Super Cup) as part of its women’s football development programme.

The five-day U-15 tournament (between 3-7 August) organised in Toluca, provided 206 players across 12 teams from Nuevo León, Tlaxcala, Chiapas, Mexico City, Sinaloa, Jalisco, Veracruz, Guanajuato, Estado de México, Baja California, Chihuahua, as well as a representative team from the United States, with an opportunity to have their talents detected by scouts from both Liga MX, and the Mexican national teams.

FIFA will provide technical support, equipment and funding for two years, as well as education and empowerment through seminars for coaches.

The FIFA’s Women’s Development Programme aims to provide all 211 member associations with the opportunity to apply for, and access additional resources and specialist expertise to develop women’s football at a national level.

Member associations can apply for support across eight key areas of women’s football development during the 2020-2023 period. In addition to financial assistance to cover the costs in selected programmes, the FIFA Women’s Development Programme will also provide access to women’s football experts, additional equipment and technical support within FIFA.

“The Supercopa Femenil was born from the dream of bringing Mexican youth players to a competitive showcase for women’s football in our country, attracting the best academies that are supporting the development of players in this category. This has resulted in a life-changing experience to be scouted by national team staff, and those of Liga MX Femenil teams,” Lucia Mijares, FMF Technical Sports Development Director, said in a statement.

Andrea Rodebaugh, FIFA Women’s Football Consultant, added via FIFA:

“Observing the Supercopa Femenil in Mexico has been inspirational. Its implementation is helping strengthen pathways by showcasing talent, motivating players and coaches as well as sharing knowledge and unique experiences so that growth continues where needed. There is so much talent, potential and support from everyone in the FMF. I am very optimistic for the future.”

Karl Dodd, FIFA Women’s Football Expert, stated via FIFA:

“The Supercopa has been well organised and provides a great opportunity for players to gain experience playing against top teams in their age group. It also enables scouts to watch these players, and for coaches to undertake development workshops to further improve the positive impact they have on players, supporting their personal and professional development.”

EA Sports to be the title sponsor for all LaLiga competitions

EA Sports & LaLiga

Beginning from the 2023-24 season onwards, a new multi-year agreement between EA Sports and LaLiga will pave the way for new experiences, deeper in-game integrations, enhanced broadcast communications, and commitment to grassroots initiatives.

The one-of-a-kind, multi-year partnership will allow both parties to deliver groundbreaking experiences for global football fans, with EA SPORTS FC securing title naming rights for all LaLiga competitions.

In addition, the deal will see a complete rebrand of LaLiga with EA Sports including all logos, graphics, fonts and other visual elements, while also delivering new in-game integration, broadcast highlights, and joint commitments to supporting grassroots initiatives.

This new partnership will encompass the first and second divisions of LaLiga (Spain’s top professional football competitions), LaLiga Promises (the league’s annual youth tournament) and eLaLiga.

“EA Sports FC is committed to delivering the most authentic and immersive experiences in global football. Our innovative new partnership with LaLiga further elevates that ambition and solidifies both organizations’ position at the centre of football culture,” David Jackson, VP Brand, EA Sports FC, said in a statement.

“The visible reach and scale of this partnership is deeply exciting, as is the opportunity to deliver incredible experiences for fans through in-game innovation, interactive entertainment and grassroots initiatives.

“EA Sports represents the cutting edge of interactive football experiences while LaLiga is at the forefront of actual football competitions with unmatched in-person, broadcast and digital fan experiences,” said Javier Tebas, President, LaLiga. “We have been strategic partners with EA Sports for years and this expanded agreement is a commitment to providing the next level of innovation to all football fans, a fusion between the virtual and real worlds of football.”

With this partnership, EA Sports and LaLiga will deepen their collaboration. Both LaLiga and EA Sports are committed to grassroots initiatives to grow the game which will include increasing accessibility, upgrading facilities, and many more initiatives to truly immerse fans into the world of football.

“This partnership with EA Sports is set to truly transform the way football is enjoyed around the world,” LaLiga Executive Director Óscar Mayo said via EA Sports.

“Moreover the alliance demonstrates LaLiga is a global brand, evidence of the success of our league to connect with fans internationally.

“We’re thrilled to partner with a worldwide leader in football fandom to better connect our fans to their favourite clubs, players, and LaLiga competitions,” said Nick Wlodyka, SVP & GM, EA Sports FC. “The contributions from LaLiga to our EA Sports FC portfolio will be immense, not only from a visual aspect, but across technological and game development improvements, further blurring the lines between the real and virtual worlds of football.”

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