Advertisement
07/28/2021

MetLife Stadium Goes Cashless

Stadium is seeing a "much higher use-rate" of the tap to pay functionality as well as a decrease in wait times at its concessions and retail stands.
Anna Wolfe
Senior Editor - Restaurants
Anna Wolfe  profile picture

Is the cashless trend here to stay?  MetLife Stadium in  East Rutherford, New Jersey, has been considering  cashless operations for while, and the COVID-19 pandemic and the desire to reduce touchpoints accelerated cashless payment options.  HT caught up with Ron VanDeVeen, President and CEO, MetLife Stadium, to learn how they did it and how cashless transactions have impacted the CX.

The stadium partnered with Appetize, a digital and mobile ordering platform. All MetLife Stadium concessions and retail locations, fans can expect a 100% cash-free environment.

Appetize contactless payment is enabled at all point of sale— via ‘tap to pay’ cards and mobile wallets, such as Apple Pay and Google Pay — including terminals, self-service kiosks and handhelds for hawkers. Giants and Jets fans can use mobile ordering at home games. Fans can use the Giants or Jets app on their phone to order and pay for concessions from their seat (then pick-up their order at a designated concession stand). 

a screen shot of a computer monitor sitting on top of a table
MetLife Stadium Stadium is seeing a "much higher use-rate" of the tap to pay functionality as well as a decrease in wait times at its concessions and retail stands. Photos courtesy of Appetize.

HT: Why add cashless payments now?  What were the challenges you were facing?
Ron VanDeVeen, President and CEO, MetLife Stadium: We had been considering moving toward a cash-free environment for some time as it increases efficiency by moving through lines faster.  With the pandemic, the desire to remove touchpoints in our guest’s journey helped to seal the deal on the initiative.  Our biggest challenge was that we didn’t want guests to view the initiative as our taking something away from them so we have focused heavily on communication and other options for those guests who prefer cash payments. We have installed 10 reverse ATMs throughout the stadium where guests can load cash onto a prepaid Visa debit card valid for in-stadium purchases. Guests are not charged a service fee for using the reverse ATM, and the Visa debit card has no expiration date and can be used anywhere a Visa debit card is accepted.

HT: What were the tech solutions deployed to help? 
VanDeVeen: In selecting our Point of Sale and payment terminal solutions several years ago, we had anticipated the desire to move to a cash-free environment so that factored into our selection.  In fact, we did not have to add any additional tech solutions to execute the initiative.

HT: From a tech perspective, how has the consumer experience changed?  
VanDeVeen: We are seeing a much higher use-rate of the Tap to Pay functionality as well as our expected decrease in wait times at our concessions and retail stands.

 

HT: What’s next for digital ordering at MetLife Stadium?    
VanDeVeen: Both the New York Giants and New York Jets will be rolling out or expanding the mobile ordering option through their team apps for the upcoming 2021 NFL football season.  It’s very exciting to give our guests more tools so they can choose which way they would like to interact with our fulfillment process.  We are also increasing the number of Grab and Go locations in the stadium for those guests who want a transaction that gives them more control over their experience for some of the more commonly ordered cold items.

HT: Is in-seat delivery available on the horizon? 
VanDeVeen: We are very pleased with our current operations and the new initiatives planned for 2021.  We will always keep the possibilities open to try new and different initiatives to improve our guest experience.

Blond woman pays at Appetize POS using contactless method
MetLife Stadium had been planning to move to a cash-free environment. The pandemic accelerated the rollout. Photos courtesy of Appetize.