- The Cincinnati Reds team is the latest in Major League Baseball (MLB) to go cashless. The team will partner with global payment company Tappit to process their digital payments via contactless mobile payment tech, according to a press release.
- The Reds join the San Diego Padres in working with Tappit, the latter of whom announced their partnership earlier this month.
- “Health and safety are at the forefront of all our fan experience upgrades ...The Tappit technology that powers the new Reds Pay platform helps minimize contact, speed up transactions and expands our customer service capabilities," Phil Castellini, Reds President and Chief Operating Officer, said.
As MLB prepares to enter its 2021 season, stadiums are bracing for an onslaught of spectators coming back to the sport after an atypical COVID-19 impacted 2020 season. To help make fans more comfortable in the stadium experience, many stadiums are becoming cashless.
Tappit, a U.K. based company, is working with the Padres and Reds to create Padres Pay and Reds Pay, digital wallets that can be used in the teams' home stadiums. Fans will be able to use the wallets and link their preferred method of payment to the app and order concessions, tickets and merchandise directly from their phones.
"As we prepare for the 2021 baseball season, our priority is the health and safety of our fans and employees. We believe that through Padres Pay, we're one step closer to safely welcoming Padres fans back home to Petco Park while minimizing person-to-person contact," Padres CEO Erik Greupner said in the release.
Tropicana Field, the home of the Tampa Bay Rays, went cashless in 2019. Tampa Bay fans "can make use of various payment options, including credit cards, gift cards and mobile payment apps such as Apple Pay," Fox Business reported.
These three aren't the only stadiums going cashless. The Los Angeles Dodgers, New York Yankees, are among a variety of baseball teams that are choosing to go cashless in the forthcoming season.
Some venues are choosing to use companies like Tappit to create digital wallets for fans to use. Others are relying upon attendees to use their personal credit cards, or programs like Apple Pay. And others, like Mercedes Benz Stadium in Atlanta, are providing spectators the option to feed their cash into a kiosk and receive a pre-paid debit card that can be used inside the stadium.
Cashless stadiums are becoming more and more common, especially as a result of the pandemic and fears of contact surfaces. There are already NFL, NBA, MLS and NHL arenas and stadiums that no longer accept cash, in addition to a variety of cashless stadiums in Europe.
As convenient as the move to go cashless might seem, there are drawbacks. "7.5% of the population is unbanked, and there are millions more who prefer to pay with cash for budgeting reasons. For these people, a cashless stadium represents something of a hostile environment," Deadspin reported.