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The digitisation of arenas and sports events

As lockdown restrictions begin to relax around the world, many stadiums are preparing to welcome sports teams and fans once again. From local stadiums to large arenas, everyone involved in the sports industry is doing what they can to keep their staff and guests safe, including embracing new digital technology. Stadiums are beginning to encourage, and in some cases even make it mandatory, for their patrons to use digital and contactless payment solutions where possible.

What are the benefits of cashless payments for a stadium?

• Reduced theft as visitors and sports players will not need to bring cash into the stadium.
• Helps reduce the possibility of spreading COVID-19 or another virus as contact is limited.
• Better visibility to track where and how people are using money in the stadium.

How are contactless and digital card payments changing sports stadiums?

Making service faster

In the Stadium of the Future report by Oracle, it was revealed that sports fans in Germany would be willing to spend 68% more on purchases if the wait time for food and beverages was reduced by half. Similarly, US fans claimed they would spend 66% more on food and drinks if the wait time was reduced, as would UK fans by 61%. This sends a clear message to stadium employees – fans are willing to spend more on food and drink if their time queuing, being served and waiting to receive their food and drink is reduced.

By making contactless payment mandatory, stadiums could significantly improve their speed at serving food and beverages as money will not need to be regularly counted, distributed or stored in a safe, which can be very time-consuming processes.

Increasing sales of high-priced items

The price of food, beverages and merchandise in a stadium can vary. More often than not, however, stadiums charge a premium for food and drink as they try to offer their sports fans a unique sporting experience that they cannot receive or replicate from their home, including enjoying indulgent food and drink. It can be hard, however, for a sports fan to hand over their hard-earned cash to pay for food and drinks. Some sports fans may even purposely limit the amount of money they take to a game to ensure they do not overspend.

Contactless payments help consumers see money and pricing as digital, and eliminates the process of handing over their money physically. This often encourages sports fans to buy more food and drink.

Cashless spending in your organisation

Going cashless doesn’t stop with your visitors and fans. Prepaid business cards from B4B Payments are the perfect way to adapt cashless spending to not only your arena, but your organisation as well. Stop your employees from using their personal funds to purchase goods and supplies, entertain partners, and travel. With a prepaid card you can see exactly where your money’s being spent as it’s happening, the ultimate risk management tool. No need worry about excess spending or potential fraud.

Control the parameters yourself using the B4B online admin platform and mobile app. By removing spend on personal cards, you’re in control. You decide how much employees can spend, and what they can use their expenses for.

Have temporary employees and volunteers?

Paying temp workers doesn’t need to be difficult. Using a flexible B4B prepaid card, save money on handling costs and fees associated with traditional payroll processes.

Our innovative method can be particularly useful for businesses with temporary or short-term staff so that you, as a business owner, can meet the demands of your changing workforce and not be held back by limited resources. Our cards can be used for GBP, EUR, and USD currencies to create a bespoke experience for you.

Did somebody say branding?

Choosing a B4B prepaid card gives you a unique opportunity to showcase your brand. A stunning design will help promote your brand and create a positive association with your company every time your cards are used. For a seamless user experience, we also create a cardholder platform and unique landing page featuring your brand.

If you’d like to learn about prepaid cards, contact B4B Payments today. We are an expert fintech company who specialise in providing payment solutions for the sports industry.

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newsroom Sports & Leisure

Sports after COVID-19

COVID has changed everything. The pandemic, which has swept the globe and affected nearly every country on all six continents, has caused cities to lockdown and normal activities to stop on a scale that has never been experienced before in living memory. However, there is light at the end of the tunnel – cities are now beginning to adapt to ‘the new normal’ and things are gradually opening up.

So, how does ‘the new normal’ affect sports? Competitive sports are loved by people all over the globe. In normal times, we flock to stadiums to watch our favourite football or rugby teams. But with some games being dubbed ‘super spreader events’, what is the answer for playing and watching sports during and after COVID?

Some competitive sports have already started to be played again, with strict testing and isolation procedures for the players. At the moment, no spectators are allowed in venues.

Undoubtedly, a lot will change. Social distancing will need to be undertaken by everybody involved in games for quite some time and this will cause a range of economic and social factors. Let’s look at some things that might change.

Virtual reality will become more common

Virtual Reality, or VR, helps people to see something as if it is actually taking place, and there will be a lot more of this as time goes on. Whether that be 360-degree photos on Facebook or fully immersive video, it will become much more normal to see games through this lens.

Journalism will focus on local sport

COVID is a time when everybody is looking inwards, focusing on their local area and what it has to offer. During the pandemic, it is harder for journalists to travel to report, meaning they may be more likely to focus on small, local teams rather than large-scale national reporting.

Athletes will seek independent forms of employment

It is projected that contracts for athletes will decrease, meaning that they will need to find other ways to fund themselves. They might become influencers, using their platforms to talk about certain topics and making money from sponsorships.

Coaches will become more tech-savvy

COVID is made much easier by technology – from the fact that we can pay using contactless cards to the ever-growing amount of TikToks to keep us amused – and coaches will undoubtedly become more tech-savvy throughout this crisis. During the pandemic, big decisions have been made over Zoom meetings, and with the pressing environmental crisis that will remain after the pandemic, this might be rolled out permanently.

Therefore, during and after COVID, coaches will likely rely on apps to communicate with their team members, draw up timetables and even train remotely.

School events will become important

Schools will need to adapt to playing sports safely, but they are likely to be children’s main involvement with the sporting world for some time. Sporting education in school will be crucial to the physical and mental health of students, as will education into different types of sports and advice on sporting careers.

Payments will change

Additionally, teams will have less funding and find themselves having to adapt in order to find the money to pay their staff. B4B offers safe, easy to use payment solutions for sports teams around the globe. Our contactless, prepaid business cards work anywhere where Mastercard® can be used, and can easily be topped up and utilised by players and organisation-staff alike.

Our prepaid card solutions are great for staff members earning anything from a few hundred to thousands of any currency a month, and they can be used to make payments across the globe. They are a fantastic way for any kind of sporting enterprise – from grassroots campaigns to full-scale sporting events – to organise their money better and reassure people of their job security during this difficult time.

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Dos and don’ts of sports payments

As COVID-19 lockdown restrictions begin to ease around the world, many sports fans and athletes are rejoicing as sports games and tournaments are preparing to resume once again. If you’ve recently been put in charge of the sports payments for a travelling sports team, ensure you follow our guidance below…

DO elect a team treasurer

If you are unfamiliar with managing a travelling sports team or have never handled sports payments before, you may be tempted to split the financial responsibilities of your sports team. This, however, will only lead to confusion and make your finances difficult to manage and organise. Instead, elect one treasurer and find a simplified financial system, such as a prepaid payment solution, that will unify your financial expenditure.

DON’T use cash

Whether you manage a small grassroots sports team or an international team of athletes, you should avoid travelling and paying for services with cash where possible. When you travel with cash, you make yourself incredibly vulnerable to theft and put yourself at risk of fraud. With cash, it is almost impossible to track your team’s spending and can be very time consuming to manage and distribute.

In light of recent global events, avoiding the use of cash where possible is essential. Many businesses will only now accept contactless card payments due to the social distancing measures put in place due to COVID-19. Cashless card payments will help to reduce the spread of the virus and help safeguard your sports team and employees from putting themselves at risk of infection.

DO stick to your budget

To ensure you don’t overspend and harm the financial position of your sports team, it is essential you create a precise budget and stick to it. Pre-paid cashless payment cards will ensure your sports team do not go over budget as they will have a specific amount allocated to their card. It will also be easier to track where you have been overspending due to their digital spend visibility.

B4B Payments, voted the Best Prepaid Product of the Year in 2019, offers payment solutions without regional limitations, as they are Mastercard® approved, ensuring your team can travel with ease without having to change payment type frequently.

DON’T mix funds

If you manage multiple sports teams it may be tempting for you to only open one bank account and blend all of your funds and expenses. It is essential, however, that each sports team you manage has a separate bank account and you do not use your personal account to keep any of your sports team expenses.

DO create a payment plan

As sports games begin to take place once again, it is essential you keep your team safe and your finances organised. This is why before hosting or attending a sports event you should contact B4BPayments, to order your prepaid business cards. All prepaid cards are managed with a robust, flexible, and easy to use digital platform and mobile app.

To learn more about how sports events and other organisations are benefitting from contactless payment solutions read our customer stories.

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The Future of Payments in Sport

Hint: It’s cashless

According to UK Finance, there were 39.3 billion payments made in the United Kingdom in 2018. Only 28% of these payments were made in cash, which is a 32% decrease over the past 10 years. By 2028, only 9% of payments are expected to be made in cash, so a huge number of businesses are choosing to ditch the payment method altogether.

The use of debit cards is on the rise and 98% of the UK population now use them regularly. Mobile and contactless payments are also on the increase and businesses from multiple industries, including hospitality and live events, are beginning to see the many benefits that cashless payment models have to offer.

Graph showing payment trends prepaid vs debit and credit

Sports stadiums, however, have been slightly more hesitant to adopt a cashless payment system, due to their long history of customers bringing wads of cash to spend on refreshments and merchandise. However, whether you organise grassroots, domestic, or international sports events, utilising a cashless payment solution in all aspects of an organisation can offer the following benefits:

Prevent Fraud

Many sports venues employ a more transient workforce than other businesses, which can increase the likelihood of employees committing fraud or theft. Using cashless payments for business supplies, employees have fewer opportunities to steal from the organisation and any strange payment anomalies are easier to identify via the data collected from digital transactions. Physical cash can be extremely difficult to keep track of. With a prepaid, cashless payment solution, temporary employees will not be tempted to slip some into their pockets.

Increased customer spending

Research suggests that customers are likely to spend significantly more at sports stadiums when they are paying via card or mobile payments rather than with cash. When your customers don’t have to worry about calculating how much cash they have in hand and physically hand it over, they are much more likely to be freer with their spending, whether they’re purchasing food, drink or sporting merchandise. Depending on the size of your sporting venue, that could add up to hundreds of thousands of pounds more per event and could lead to a significant increase in profit.

Save time and money

Businesses are required to pay a small fee for every cashless payment transaction, but this is insignificant when compared to the money that they could save. Manual cash management takes a significant amount of time and it can often take several hours a day to maintain accurate accounting records. From making trips to the bank to counting cash at the end of the day, the minutes spent handling cash can add up and staff will often have to be paid overtime. Cashless sports venues don’t have to worry about the time spent handling manual payments and will find that they have more time to invest in more important tasks.

Social Distancing

The current global pandemic has seen a huge number of businesses switch to contactless card payments to maintain social distancing measures and reduce the spread of the coronavirus. UK sports stadiums are predicted to reopen as early as autumn, but the post-COVID-19 world is likely to see social distancing measures continue. With cashless payments, customers can safely and hygienically pay for items in sports arenas without having to worry about coming into contact with each other, so it’s likely that we’ll see a further spike in the use of cashless payments in venues all over the world.


If you run a grassroots, domestic or international sporting venue and are looking to eliminate antiquated payment processes and finally find the time to do the things that matter, B4B Payments has the perfect solution for you. Our prepaid cards can help you keep control over your corporate payments via a single platform and mobile app. Freeing up your business’s time and money, cut unnecessary costs, and streamline your accounting systems to make your business operations run seamlessly.

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B4B provides payment support for ICC Cricket World Cup

On the 30th May to 14th July 2019, cricket fans around the globe had their eyes firmly fixed on Lord’s as the thrilling 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup took place. As the top ten cricket teams in the world came together to battle it out for the world cup title, B4B Payments offered their services to the cup’s hosts, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), to provide elite payment solutions to the cricket teams, their management and key CWC staff.

B4B Payments’ prepaid business cards allowed teams from around the world to easily distribute funds to their players and staff. As B4B Payments’ prepaid business cards can be used anywhere in the world that accepts Mastercard payments, they can be monitored closely to ensure funds are being used in the correct way. This ensures corporate expense management is effortless and receipts can be managed through B4B Payments’ digital tools.

“I was very pleased with the solution B4B Payments provided to help support the players, officials and staff during the CWC19. The B4B team’s professionalism when rolling out the solution and the support provided to ensure the teams and officials could concentrate on their on-field performance, providing the best World Cup experience for the fans around the world.”

Sam de Terte, Financial Controller for the ECB

When trying to execute such a prestigious event, or travelling around the world to compete in a sports event, the last thing you want on your mind is obtaining, carrying and storing a large amount of cash. For the ECB and the teams taking part in the event, B4B Payments eliminated this problem with their prepaid business cards.

B4B Payments is privileged to work with many sporting events to provide payment solutions, for example, the 2015 Rugby World Cup. The Greater London Authority and B4B Payments also supported the 2017 IAAF World Championships in London.