O2 arena loses contact with cash

From yesterday, the world’s busiest arena, The O2, rolled out contactless technology across more than 250 card payment terminals. The introduction of the speedy payment system, in partnership with Barclaycard and Visa Europe, is to enable revelers to benefit from shorter queues at bars, restaurants and merchandise stands within The O2 itself and at other quick pay terminals, such as car parks.

Contactless is the technology which enables consumers to pay for goods under the value of £15 by simply holding a contactless-enabled card or mobile phone over a reader to make payment. On show nights 75% of electronic transactions processed in the arena’s concessions are under £15 therefore the technology’s speed will help reduce queues, enabling fun-seekers to spend more time enjoying themselves and less time waiting in line.

Richard Armstrong, head of payment acceptance at Barclaycard says of the deal: “The hospitality sector with high volume low value transactions, and often lengthy queues, is the perfect environment for a technology that makes it quicker and easier for people to make payments. As a result, we’re confident that contactless technology will prove popular with visitors to The O2 Arena.”

Barclays, Barclaycard and Visa Europe have been the leading forces behind contactless in the UK. Since 2007, they have, together, issued over 15 million contactless debit and credit cards and put contactless terminals in more than 56,000 retail outlets.

Alex Hill, Senior Executive Director and Finance Director of AEG Europe, owner and operator of The O2 says of the move: “Our aim is to give our customers the best time possible from the moment they arrive at The O2. Contactless will play a key part in improving our guests’ experiences by speeding up the payment process and reducing queue times, giving everyone more time to enjoy the unique and electric atmosphere of The O2 on a show night.”

Sport fanatics will be able to use their contactless debit and credit cards at The O2 this week as they watch the world’s top tennis players compete at the Barclay’s ATP World Tour Finals. To encourage the use of contactless, anyone who makes a payment at participating retailers in the arena will receive a free tube of HEAD tennis balls.


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