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.