Super Bowl goes cashless as NFL taps Visa

Tampa Bay Buccaneers making digital payment venue upgrades.

by Steven Impey

Super Bowl goes cashless as NFL taps Visa
  • Fans will be able to make in-stadium purchases using mobile device
  • ‘Reverse ATMs’ will also allow fans to exchange up to US$500 for Visa debit card
  • Visa claims cashless arenas experience a 25% hike in transactions

The National Football League (NFL) has finalised plans with payment technology partner Visa to make the 2021 Super Bowl completely cashless in a bid to mitigate the health risks posed by Covid-19.

All Super Bowl-related payments from the official NFL outlet will be digital-only, including parking and in-stadium.

The NFL and Visa are working with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to ready their home Raymond James Stadium for the title game on 7th February.

One of the innovations will see ‘reverse ATMs’ introduced at the stadium, allowing fans to exchange up to US$500 for a pre-paid Visa debit card to use at the Super Bowl.

The same technology was adopted for Major League Baseball’s (MLB) World Series held at the Texas Rangers’ Globe Life Field home ballpark in October.

Although it is not yet clear how many fans will be permitted to attend this season’s Super Bowl, Visa says that the technology also helps to drive revenue. Arenas that go cashless have experienced an average 25 per cent hike in fan transactions, while also saving between US$150,000 and US$350,000 on operational costs.

A limited number of fans have already been welcomed back to several NFL stadiums during the coronavirus-hit 2020 season, with cashless payments having been adopted by some teams to help reduce the spread of the virus.

Visa has assisted six stadiums in upgrading their point-of-sale infrastructure to become contactless. Meanwhile, more than 20 stadiums nationwide are now moving to a cash-free model or plan to do so in the near-term, including the NFL’s San Francisco 49ers and Baltimore Ravens.