28 Jul The Queue Beating Solution We’ve All Been Waiting For…
In recent years, mobile payment has become as much a part of the consumer experience as the very act of purchasing and consuming goods. Mobile payment has become a phrase synonymous with customer convenience, streamlining the payment process and in many cases drastically reducing, or even removing entirely, the need for frustrating queues and lengthy wait times. From the comfort of their phones, customers can pay for their purchases and simply click and collect, or have them delivered, at their convenience. However, despite all this, the one place mobile payments are unable to effectively reach is sports grounds and stadiums.
Of all the places to find mobile payment solutions, these would be perhaps the most obvious. Whose heart hasn’t sunk at the sight of a fifty person deep thirty person wide queue at the drinks kiosk of a stadium, while the dream of acquiring yourself a drink in the fifteen minute halftime of a football game is slowly trampled under the feet of a thousand thirsty fans.
Mobile payment would surely be a simple way to alleviate this problem of stadium congestion. Allowing fans to browse, choose and pay for their food and drinks from the comfort of their phone would drastically reduce queue times, as there would be no need for any cash to be handled or complicated orders to be processed. All the bar staff would need to do is simply hand over the order. Unfortunately it’s currently not that simple.
No stadium in the UK has a usable mobile or WiFi internet to support a mobile payment system, and this is an issue that is unlikely to be fixed any time soon. To service just 8-10,000 concurrent users, stadium owners would need to spend upwards of £1million on hardware and at least £1000 a month on data. Furthermore, this is at a time when stadiums are increasingly strapped for cash, as UEFA’s Financial Fair Play regulations for 2016/2017 require clubs to reduce maximum operating costs by €15m. As a result, stadium owners are even more reticent to invest in a service which, with only 15-25 fixtures per season, will be used only a handful of times a year. Especially given that the few attempts there have been to install connectivity at stadiums resulted in very public failures, lawsuits and embarrassment for the clubs.
Fortunately there is now an alternative solution…
SwipeStation requires no mobile or internet connection to process an order, so the solution does not require the stadium owner to invest in WiFi hardware, monthly data, support or upgrade costs. This means that the mobile payment ideal (of the customer purchasing food and drink from their phone and collecting their order at the bar) can be achieved but without the clubs and stadiums having to spend the millions required. The SwipeStation solution shortens the queues, which means improved customer experience. The result is that visitors are more likely to purchase a drink at the stadium and ultimately increased bar sales. This is a formula that has been tried and tested in the US where stadiums are seeing an increase in food and beverage sales of up to 56% (source).
Finally there is a solution to this perennial problem that is both affordable and easy to scale, allowing a stadium with even the most limited budget to benefit immediately.