Bury FC’s attempt to go cashless a latest step towards making life better for fans and clubs alike
Last week, League One side Bury FC attempted to become the first football club in the UK to go completely cashless.
The club’s away shirt sponsor, Tappit, are a company who provide contactless payment “experiences” for gigs, festivals and sporting events, and are attempting to bring the same technology to the third tier side’s Gigg Lane stadium this season.
That would make them the first club in the country to have eradicated cash from their ground, as fans would be able to pay for everything around the ground with Bury-branded, pre-paid cards which would enable fans to cut out queueing when it comes to buying food and drinks as well as other merchandise on game day.
Having to pay by cash is probably just a minor inconvenience, but when it comes to a football ground when there’s a match on, that is amplified quite a bit as thousands of fans attempt to buy the standard fair: beers, pies, matchday programmes as well as other club merchandise. But it’s not just about the ease of access for fans when they want to pay for a pint. It also has implications for clubs, too – especially lower league ones like Bury.
How many times have fans decided against buying a scarf in the club shop or a drink at half-time because of the length of the queue? Or how many fans just want to get to their seats and stay there because they know they’ll have to wait in line if they try to do anything else? For smaller clubs, it’s more of a shame than it is for, say, Premier League clubs if they don’t manage to make that revenue. It won’t speed up everything of course, but it could certainly help.
One of the biggest problems clubs have on matchdays is that going to a live game now often leaves fans feeling that they’ve missed out on something – in-game statistics, social media conversations, highlights and replays – but obviously paying more money to attend the game in real life shouldn’t mean fans miss anything. As such, stadium technology and other means of enhancing what it’s like to be in a stadium when there’s a game on have to find clever ways of making the day out better, and that will help everyone in the long-term.
Innovations like Bury’s are only one step on this journey, but anything that makes things better for fans will make things better for clubs and leagues, too.
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