Schalke 04 to put a contactless payment chip in their kit for next season

Bundesliga side Schalke 04 have often been at the forefront of innovation. In 1929, the Royal Blues won their first German Championship before they were banned the next year for infringing on the German Football Association’s rules on professional players in an era where professionalism was outlawed.

Throughout the 30s and 40s, they were at the forefront of the sport itself, appearing in the Championship final eight times in nine years between 1933-42 playing a brand of passing football hitherto unseen in Germany.

More recently, their Veltins Arena stadium was built in 2001 and was one of the first major football grounds to feature a retractable roof and pitch as well as a huge scoreboard suspended high over the playing surface. The club even has its own Esports division featuring one of the first League of Legends teams owned by a professional football club.

So perhaps it’s no surprise that Schalke are at the forefront of innovation once again, but this time, attaching a payment chip to the team’s jerseys seems to take a step further than the usual, even for them.

The club’s partnership with online supermarket AllyouneedFresh will see next season’s Schalke football shirts come with the chip already installed, allowing fans to pay for things using their club’s colours. Though, mercifully, they won’t come in the kit the players themselves will wear on matchdays.

Schalke’s head of communications Anja Kleine-Wilde told The Associated Press, “they rarely go to kiosks at halftime to quickly get a (currywurst) or a beer,” though there are probably plenty of fans in the stadiums on matchdays who will be excited by the prospect of using their replica shirts to do just that.

It’s another world first from Schalke – even if this one is less useful than the others!

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Chris McMullan
Chris McMullan 195 posts

Chris is a sports journalist and a regular contributor to Digital Sport - follow him on Twitter @CJMcMullan91

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