Why the NFL winner this season, was cashless

Tappit is celebrating for two reasons this week. Firstly, our partner, the Kansas City Chiefs, has made it to Super Bowl for the second year in a row! Secondly, that Super Bowl LV in Tampa Bay will use only contactless payment methods. In 2020 alone, more than 20 stadiums across the US moved to a cash-free model or plan to do so in the near-term. 

It is great to see that Tampa Bay Buccaneers and NFL understand the benefits of taking this important step, as it helps create a great fan experience, keeps staff and visitors safe through minimising contact and boosts profitability through increasing speed of transactions. 

In this instance, Super Bowl has chosen a cashless system that is a combination of cashless ATMs and a contactless open loop solution. There are some pros and cons to cashless ATMs, which we summarise in our Cashless guide. However, the biggest challenge to success is that by partnering with only a credit card – it means that Super Bowl and the venue do not gain the data. 

The importance and benefits of closed loop systems

If the event and venue had chosen to partner with a credit card AND a white label mobile wallet – both parties would have gained the data, creating huge benefit for all – for the reasons outlined below:


  1. Target new fans. Understand existing fans. 

Tampa will be seeing fans who may never have visited before – often with high disposable income and a clear passion for the NFL and prestige events. By using a closed loop system – the venue and the NFL would be able to understand not just who the ticket buyers were, but each and every fan and their behaviours, and what they purchased at the event – providing valuable data, insights and ways to engage, reward and keep Super Bowl visitors incentivised.

2.  Improve the fan experience

Closed loop systems bring a wealth of opportunities to improve the fan experience. On a simple basis, there is the speed and ease of making payments, the safety of transacting (at a greater distance than using a card) and the fact that queuing is reduced. Also, the data that and the ability to understand each and every fan reaps rewards.  

3. Make transactions faster…

Using contactless bank cards is dependent on good wifi and connectivity (often a problem at large, busy events). We’ve all experienced waiting for a transaction to go through at a till, which detracts from customer experience – especially as fans won’t want to miss a minute of Super Bowl.

4. ….and remove spending limits.

There are limits on contactless transactions – spending more than $100 in the US in one go or £45 in the UK currently – forces fans to use PIN terminals and sign paper – something that most people are avoiding thanks to the pandemic. Super Bowl fans want to spend on souvenirs, high ticket items and making sure they have an incredible time – ensure you take out the barriers from this desire to purchase.

5. Increase spend

Visa mentions that typically transactions are typically 25% higher – what we’re incredibly proud of is our results of our partner, Jacksonville Jaguars where the team has seen 60% average increase in spend per fan – the full case study is here

6. Enhance sponsorship value

The creativity of Super Bowl brand partnerships is a joy to behold. Every year, it is incredible to see the combined power of technology, brands, storytelling and a ‘must-see’ event. Sponsors pay significant amounts to be involved and every year look for more creative and immersive ways to connect with fans and bring value to the Super Bowl experience. With the data that the right closed loop solution gives – the possibilities are endless to enhance sponsorship, incentivise consumer behaviours and bring fans closer.

  • Free beer to anyone who purchases before half time, if their team scores.
  • Buy a souvenir in the first 15 minutes to win an upgrade courtesy of a sponsor.
  • Half price snacks when their team goes ahead in the game.
  • If you buy a particular drink, then you receive discount codes or free merchandise at your local store.
  • The opportunity to download exclusive content for people who make a purchase within a specific window at the game.

We know who we’ll be supporting on 7 February, but regardless of who wins, Tappit is proud to be at the forefront of the cashless revolution. If you want to know more about which cashless options would provide you and your team with a winning solution – please get in touch.

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