Pro football fans in Seattle, Washington are getting a taste of contactless technology through SMART Systems Technologies’ PowerPay.
Based around Texas Instruments RFid technology, the PowerPay contactless token was first introduced to Seattle Seahawks fans at the first preseason game in August. There, exclusive club level seat ticket holders are able to buy concessions on the club level simply by waving their issued keyfob or card over a PowerPay reader at a point-of-sale terminal.
“The fans love it,” said SMART Systems President/CEO Mark Johnson. And the Seahawks seem to be satisfied too since use of the contactless keyfob is generating more sales.
The Seahawks trial began prior to the start of the 2003 season when all the club level season ticket holders were given the opportunity to try the program. “Thirty-six percent of those (season ticket holders) have registered for PowerPay and are using it,” said Mr. Johnson. “We’ve found that the average PowerPay transaction is 18% greater then cash transactions.”
Using the system, the contactless token interfaces with the point of sale terminal and transmits the debit or credit account specified by the user at the time of signup. The payment information is then transmitted wirelessly and securely, and the transaction is processed in seconds.
To determine the effectiveness of PowerPay the Seahawks initiated a time study involving 211 transactions, reported Mr. Johnson. “The average PowerPay transaction took just 6.7 seconds, the average cash transaction required 15.7 seconds, and the average credit transaction took 37.5 seconds.”
“It speeds up the line, it gives fans a better concession experience,” he adds. “Fans like it because they can get back to see the game quicker. We find they’re using PowerPay twice as much as credit cards.”
PowerPay users also do not have to worry about carrying cash to the game for concessions, since their purchases are debited to their credit or check card.
When the program was first introduced in Seattle, fans could either call an 800 number or go online at mypowerpay.com to sign up. The Seahawks are supporting the program by providing rewards and chances to win prizes for PowerPay users, including autographed Seahawks merchandise.
Powerpay’s smart network allows merchants to create target groups of consumers and communicate relevant content and offers to individuals based on buying preferences and demographic data, then automatically reconcile those offers at the point of sale.
“Our solution is not for just payment, we have a whole suite of business analytics that allow a business to gather demographic information,” said Mr. Johnson.
The team can cross-reference offers. For example, if a fan spends $25 on concessions, he could be rewarded with a $10 merchandise discount. Or, the team could send email to all males between the ages of 18 and 34 and offer them particular types of merchandise.
“The Seahawks are committed to giving their fans the best football experience possible, and the PowerPay solution enables them to reward fans with faster service and free merchandise while increasing revenues at the same time.” Adds Mr. Johnson, “with RF technology and PowerPay, we have created a total payment and CRM solution for the sports and retail industries that will benefit teams, venues, merchants and consumers.”
And it’s not stopping there. PowerPay is also being tested in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania with the National Football League’s Philadelphia Eagles organization. And, adds Mr. Johnson, more than 10 other pro teams in football, baseball, hockey, and basketball are interested in the technology.
In 1997 Texas Instruments launched its RF technology for wireless payment with the introduction of the ExxonMobil Speedpass. Speedpass now boasts more than 6.5 million active users. In July 2003, TI also announced a new RF-based payment program with American Express, called ExpressPay, which has been deployed at more than 250 merchant locations in the Phoenix, Arizona area.
“We are very excited about all of the activity around RFID,” said Mr. Johnson. “It has been accepted as a valid payment methodology, and we have taken it to the next level by utilizing RF technology as the gateway to our suite of products.”
For more information on PowerPay, visit www.powerpayit.com or call 212-624-1640.