Second-tier English soccer side Aston Villa have announced that they will become the first club in the world to integrate pre-paid contactless and chip and pin payment technology into their season and member cards.
The new technology, which is being provided by Fortress GB, will allow fans of the Championship outfit to load cash on to their season and membership cards in order to use them in the same way as any pre-paid payment card.
The cards, which are being issued by Wirecard Solutions, can be used to enter the team’s Villa Park home ground, and at all of the stadium’s payment terminals, including concourses, the ticket office and the club shop. The card will also enable fans to shop both online and on high streets with Villa’s retail partners. The technology will allow the club to build a more detailed and personalised understanding of each individual season ticket holder.
Luke Organ, Aston Villa’s chief commercial officer, said: “We are committed to giving fans the best experience possible when dealing with the club, either as season ticket holders or members. The new contactless, chip and pin technology will ensure that season ticket holders and members can use their card to buy merchandise and refreshments at the ground on match day, or on the high street with our affiliate retail partners - all the time earning pride rewards points.
“The incorporation of the latest payment technology is a logical extension of season and fan card technological capability, which will allow the club to improve interaction with its fanbase, whilst recognising and rewarding loyalty. We are being very proactive in engaging our corporate partners and other high street retailers to join the programme, which will enable them to leverage the strength and buying power of the significant Aston Villa fanbase.”
Aston Villa are fifth in the Championship, and travel to play Nottingham Forest in their next game on Saturday.