Fans can expect to see speedier service at the Amex in future, when purchasing their pre-match pint or half-time food, as the club transitions to cashless matchdays at the Amex during the coming months.
Working with American Express and catering partner Sodexo, the stadium’s catering kiosks, hospitality bars, merchandise store and programme booths will switch to card payments only, for all matches and event days, by August 2020 or possibly even sooner.
The club will begin a phased roll-out from the next home match against Burnley a week on Saturday, with the kiosk on the north side in east upper, and the middle catering kiosks in all other home concourses taking credit or debit card payments only.
The new model which relies on the speedy contactless form of payment has been hugely successful in cutting queue times and speeding up service at stadia across the world, and Albion fans will now benefit from the new approach.
Chief executive and deputy chairman Paul Barber explained how the move will benefit fans, “Our research shows the average transaction time of a cash payment at the Amex is 167 seconds, compared with 83 seconds for all card payments.
“By moving to a totally cashless stadium, we have the opportunity to cut current cash-based service times in half. That’s a huge improvement so it’s easy to see why new stadia are opting to be cashless.
“Improving service times during peak periods and shorter service periods, such as half-time and immediately after the game, will be better for everyone.
“A cashless stadium also makes things simpler and more secure for us, will reduce costs for Sodexo and for us, and it will ultimately help us keep prices down.
“We appreciate there are those fans who like to pay in cash, but technology is evolving quickly and ultimately we have made this decision to benefit the majority.
“The good news is that a majority of our fans are already paying by card rather than with cash in the stadium, so the transition will be quick and easy for many fans.
“To help with the transition we will begin by making the middle kiosks in each concourse card only from our next home match against Burnley.”
The club has already made a significant investment in its WiFi and point-of-sale infrastructure across the entire stadium in anticipation of this move.
New hardware has been installed and software upgraded, and having been tested at the previous two home matches, the club will begin its phased roll-out in anticipation of a fully cashless stadium by no later than August 2020.