Creating a cashless stadium one tap at a time, at Saracens Rugby Club

Last updated: 11 November 2019

As we all know, our enjoyment at sporting events is immeasurably improved by the food and drink you can buy at the game. Imagine if you took hot dogs away from Major League Baseball or strawberries and cream from the Wimbledon Tennis Championships. But the thing is, serving thousands of people at crunch points during a game, such as half time, is a real logistical challenge.

We’ve been working on solving this for a while now, having trialled wireless payments recently at Twickenham during the 6 Nations. This weekend, we’re down at Allianz Park, for the latest stage of our partnership with Saracens Rugby Club.

At the fixture against Exeter Chiefs, over 100 fans will be kitted out with Saracens payment wristbands, letting them pay for food and drink with a simple tap of the wrist. We’re committed to improving the fan experience, and previous responses to the trials have been overwhelmingly positive.

We’re really excited to see how Saracens fans react to being able to pay instantaneously. With no fumbling for notes and coins, and then waiting for change, they will be able to get back to action faster than ever. These wristbands, powered by our Optelio Minitag technology, also behave just like other NFC payment cards, so after seeing their team play and enjoying the refreshments, fans can use them one last time, as they get on public transport to go home.

The blog team will be there on the ground alongside Tomi Adebayo, from GadgetsBoy, and Fabio Virgi, from Let’s Talk Tech. They’ll be trailing the tech and meeting some fans, letting us track their experiences and thoughts on the technology. The fans’ feedback will be vital as we prepare for a complete roll-out of the wristbands to all, when the new rugby Premiership season starts in September.