NFL, Visa announce cash-free future for Super Bowl

SAN FRANCISCO: While fan experiences at live events continue to evolve due to the ongoing effects of COVID-19, Visa and the National Football League (NFL) have finalized plans for safer and more secure payments via a cash-free future for the Super Bowl. 

Visa, the “Official Payment Services Technology Partner” of the NFL, will now enable seamless, safe and secure digital payments at the big game this season and beyond. Simultaneously, Visa unveiled Visa’s Guide to Touchless Payments: A Key To The Return Of Live Events, a new step by step guide to provide leadership support to venues and events for adopting touchless payments globally.

Super Bowl LV will offer 100 percent digital payment acceptance for fans throughout the stadium on game day, including parking, concessions, retail, mobile ordering, and more. Beyond game day, “Super Bowl Experience presented by Lowe’s” will be 100 percent cash-free for the first time. For fans who require assistance, ATMs that exchange cash and dispense Visa-branded pre-paid cards up to $500 will be available, with no load fees. Visa pre-paid cards dispensed in-stadium will also work outside the venue, demonstrating ways to create a more inclusive environment for all fans to participate in the emerging digital economy.

“Visa is one of our key partners in helping us imagine how our fans will experience the NFL in years to come,” said Renie Anderson, executive vice president of Partnerships & chief revenue officer for the NFL. “We’re excited to announce that for our biggest event the future is here and we thank Visa for the innovative approach to enable a more secure way to pay at Super Bowl LV. This move will not only make the game more enjoyable and efficient for our fans, but most importantly, safer for all involved.”

“Long before the pandemic sparked demand for safe, touchless experiences, Visa has been at the forefront of in-stadium digital payment innovation. Teaming up with the NFL to now make payments completely digital at the Super Bowl not only achieves a primary goal of our partnership, but is transformative for the future of sporting events,” said Mary Ann Reilly, senior vice president, head of North America Marketing, Visa. “Visa will continue to lead the point of sale digital transformation at stadiums nationwide, because converting to touchless, digital payments is no longer a luxury, but a necessity for fans and concessionaires alike.”

The Super Bowl news highlights a long history of Visa delivering innovative payment enhancements to NFL fans in stadiums across the country. In recent years, Visa assisted six stadiums in upgrading their point of sale infrastructure to accept contactless payments. Now with Visa’s counsel, the NFL stadium landscape is taking it a step further and rapidly transforming to a primarily digital environment. More than 20 stadiums nationwide are moving to a cash-free model or plan to do so in the near term, including Visa partners the San Francisco 49ers and Baltimore Ravens. With over 75 percent1 of consumers surveyed stating they have changed how they pay in order to reduce contact since the pandemic, minimizing touchpoints in-stadium will make fans feel safer and provide a better purchase experience overall.

“While working on re-opening plans, one area Visa urges venue operators to no longer discount is their digital commerce infrastructure. Improving efficiencies, maximizing return and ultimately providing a more touchless environment for fans are just a few benefits of digital payments Visa has uncovered and best of all, digital payment execution does not have to be a daunting task,” continued Reilly. “Our new step by step guide is designed to provide even the digital novice the right tools to start their digital journey and prepare their venues to be ready to welcome fans back."