Japanese ecommerce giant Rakuten has revealed that the stadia of two leading Japanese sports teams will operate on fully cashless systems from the opening games of their respective 2019 seasons.
Rakuten, founded by Japanese billionaire Hiroshi Mikitani, owns both baseball team Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles and J League outfit Vissel Kobe, where Spanish soccer icon Andres Iniesta plays.
The innovations at their home grounds, Rakuten Seimei Park Miyagi and Noevir Stadium Kobe, will allow payments through smartphone app Rakuten Pay, pre-paid smart card Rakuten Edy, and traditional credit cards.
The initiative will apply to purchase of tickets, food and drink, merchandise and other products available at the venues.
A statement from the Japanese company said: ‘The smart stadium concept will also leverage the Rakuten Ecosystem in order to create an even more convenient and stress-free sports viewing experience, offering advanced services through mobile technology, utilising match and video content and providing a new way to enjoy watching sports.
‘Rakuten plans to offer visitors to the stadium support in going cashless and run campaigns to give them the chance to experience the benefits and convenience of cashless payments.’