Yellow card for stadium cards

Payment card processes in Germany’s stadia face criticism

It should be so simple: generate a customer card at the teller machine itself; load cash onto it and use it to buy bratwurst, drinks, etc. at the catering stall; enjoy the game and then claim a refund of any remaining credit at the teller machine. Cashless payments – easy and efficient. The system also benefits from being fast and hygienic. However, a recent report by “ARD-Radio-Recherche-Sport” (17 November 2016), showed that the current process has considerable drawbacks, particularly for international and occasional stadium visitors. Although each stadium operator uses its own chip card, leading to regular travelling fans quickly becoming card collectors, the process of obtaining refunds of remaining credit is often less than user-friendly. An insufficient number of open counters, a lack of customer service staff and lengthy queuing times – all these issues test visitors’ patience. Customers seeking a refund are thwarted by inadequate card validity periods, or are forced to fork out a processing fee. These are problems that the intelligent payment machines from Wanzl do not have.

Convenient – reliable – customer-friendly

Wanzl teller machines are proven to be of the finest quality from the very first moment. An interactive interface helps customers to generate their customer card, using a user-friendly 15” PC touchscreen display. The ability to program additional languages means that international guests are welcomed and courteously assisted. Cards can be conveniently loaded as required, using banknotes, coins or debit/credit cards. The graphical user and service menu guide directs users calmly and intuitively through the system. The only tension that the customer experiences here is in relation to the upcoming event; the much-needed food and drink to calm the nerves are also taken care of. At the final whistle, fans stream towards the exit – this often needs to happen quickly. But the average fan is unlikely to be keen to leave without his money, nor to go through long-winded refund procedures at home. Wanzl teller machines provide outstanding service. Customers can insert their card and reclaim their remaining credit with the minimum of fuss.

The price of fairness

According to the ARD report, some clubs earn over two million euros a season through what is commonly termed “Schlummergroschen” (unused credit on cards) – a sum which could pay for the installation of 130 teller machines. Based on the old adage that the customer is king, this investment could also pay dividends for clubs in the long-term. The impact of these findings and potential legal action by consumer watchdogs are not yet known, but the first rumblings of consumer dissatisfaction, and even stadium boycotts by fans are already being heard. One thing is certain: half-empty stands and unused catering facilities are not what club managers and stadium operators want to see.