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Barclaycard partners with Southampton Football Club to roll out the next evolution of its wearable bPay band

22 Sep 2014 08:00

  • Southampton Football Club to become the first football club globally to offer its loyal fans free, exclusive and branded bPay bands from Barclaycard
  • The Southampton FC bPay band will integrate contactless payments with exclusive loyalty offers, special experiences and prize draws for supporters
  • Barclaycard’s vision for the sports sector is to combine bPay band’s payments functionality with stadium access, which could allow fans to leave their wallet and season ticket at home on match day

In a major new evolution for wearable technology, Barclaycard and Southampton Football Club have signed an agreement to distribute Barclaycard’s bPay bands to fans and expand the band’s functionality beyond contactless payments. This move brings the reality of an ‘all in one’ cashless stadium device – combining payment technology with fans’ season tickets and stadium access – a step closer.

Following successful summer trials of the bPay band - a wearable contactless payment device - Barclaycard recently announced its intention to develop and offer an integrated wearables proposition for the sports and leisure industry.  Southampton Football Club supporters will become the first fans in the world to experience the pioneering technology after the club signed an agreement with Barclaycard to offer them an exclusive bPay band in the club’s colours.

bPay band by Barclaycard is a new way to pay. Worn on the wrist, it contains a contactless payment chip that is topped up with money from any UK debit or credit card and that is used to make quick, easy and secure payments for purchases of £20 and under wherever displays the contactless symbol. This includes across St Mary's Stadium and at over 300,000 payment terminals across the UK.

Southampton FC fans using the exclusive bPay band will be able to use dedicated ‘contactless bPay lanes’ on match day, allowing them to beat the queues at bars and catering outlets inside the stadium. Season ticket holders will also benefit from a range of ‘money can’t buy’ offers on hospitality and memorabilia running throughout the 2014/15 season as well as special experiences and prize draws.

The partnership agreement aims to accelerate Barclaycard’s vision for the functionality of bPay band to be expanded to incorporate fans’ season tickets and stadium access, as it looks to develop an ‘all in one’ device that allows football fans to attend games with just a bPay band.

As well as bringing a number of benefits to its supporters, the bands will allow the club to enhance the way it engages with its fans and look at ways to improve their match day experience, by changing anything from the food and drink it stocks to corporate facilities and the merchandise on sale in the club shop.  

Mike Saunders, Managing Director for Digital Consumer Payments at Barclaycard, said:

“Barclaycard is at the forefront of contactless technology across the UK and our partnership with Southampton Football Club is an important next step in evolving our bPay technology into an integrated wearable proposition that does more than simply make payments effortless.

“Southampton FC’s loyal fans will be the first to wear an exclusive bPay band in their club’s colours, which will allow them to make fast, easy and secure contactless payments, and benefit from exclusive loyalty offers.

“We are really excited to be working with Southampton FC as they have shown a clear vision for incorporating technology across the fan experience and a passion for growing their understanding of what’s important for Saints supporters. By working with them we plan to develop an ‘all-in-one’ match day experience and enhance the way the club engages with its fans.

“We hope this partnership is the first of many opportunities in creating an integrated wearable device with benefits for both businesses and customers.”

Jochen Hartmann, Director of Commercial Operations at Southampton FC said:

"Southampton Football club is very excited to be the first football club to partner with Barclaycard’s bPay band.

“This partnership hopefully clearly demonstrates our commitment both to driving innovation through every part of our football club, but also to providing the best experience for our fans, on match days and beyond.

“Southampton Football Club is constantly looking into ways of improving the experience of every football fan that comes to St Mary's.”

Contactless spend in the Southampton area has doubled in the last 12 months and spend growth in the town was faster than that of London for the first four months of 2014. More broadly, 1 in 4 Barclaycard customers in Southampton have used contactless already. Saints fans sporting their new bPay bands will help accelerate the adoption of contactless payments across the area.