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CONTACTLESS IN AT THE AMEX

22 February 2015


Brighton & Hove Albion, in partnership with American Express, has completed the roll out of contactless payment options across the American Express Community Stadium - meaning faster service for fans on matchdays.

The new system means home and away supporters can use contactless payment for credit or debit card for transactions up to £20 in kiosks, hospitality and in the Brighton & Hove Albion Store - rising to £30 in September of this year.

Fans will still have the option to pay by cash or card using chip-and-pin; however the club will phase out the current ecash system, as supporter usage continues to tail off, with the ecash system unavailable from the start of next season.

According to UK Card Services, usage of contactless technology in the UK trebled in 2014, from payments worth £653m in 2013, to £2.32bn; and there are more than 58 million contactless cards currently in circulation, which is 52 per cent more than there were at the end of 2013.

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Chief executive Paul Barber said, "Contactless payment is now commonplace in everyday life and, with much quicker transaction times, we expect this to speed up our catering service significantly in busy periods such as half time.

"This change will make things even simpler, and quicker, for supporters - particularly on matchdays. It also removes a large amount of administration for us which, from the cost saving, will allow us freeze our concourse catering prices for the 2015/16 season as well as improving speed of service.

"The ecash payment option proved very popular when the club first moved to the stadium, but it is now used by a relatively small number of supporters each match day, many of whom will already be using contactless technology to pay for goods and services. We will therefore remove ecash as a stadium payment option at the end of the current season.

"We appreciate that some fans currently benefit from cashback when using the ecash system - and we will replace this benefit with a series of new early-bird, stay-late and other match day concourse catering offers available to all fans from the start of the new season."

Those supporters who use ecash and have funds in their accounts are encouraged to spend the remaining amounts on their accounts before the end of the current season. While the auto top-up system will be switched off from 31st March 2015.

The club will continue to remind those fans with ecash funds of the impending changes - but those with balances of £10 or more at the end of the season will be eligible to apply for a refund by cheque. The club will not be able to offer or process any refunds after 31 May 2015.

Barber added, "The easiest way to use up any remaining funds before the end of the season - for fans and the club - is to simply spend any remaining account balance before the end of the season."

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