Vivint Smart Home Arena joins bandwagon of cashless venues


Utah Jazz Vivint Smart Home Arena Image: Vivint Smart Home Arena

The Vivint Smart Home Arena – an indoor facility located in Salt Lake City, Utah in US – has transformed to a fully cash-free model from January 18 following a successful pilot last year. The stadium is the home ground of the Utah Jazz NBA basketball team.

Vivint Smart Home Arena has completed its transition to a fully cash-free environment in partnership with Salted Honey Hospitality and E15 Group.

As part of the cash-free model, only credit, debit and prepaid cards as mobile payments are accepted in the venue’s food and beverage sale outlets. The cashless model will also extend to the arena’s box office and the Utah Jazz Team Store.

The arena switched over to cash-free purchases in a phased manner since October 2019. During this phase, select locations on the main and upper concourses went cashless to offer fans an exhilarating experience and improve speed of service.

A study conducted revealed that the phased transition model tasted success, and there was 10 to 30 percent reduction in time which people took to stand in queue for concessions.

Vivint Smart Home Arena President John Kimball remarked, “The feedback from our initial phase of the cash-free transition was resoundingly positive. There’s no doubt that cash-free transactions have sped up the lines at our concessions locations so fans can get back to the action quicker, and we’re eager to expand the cash-free environment to all food and beverage locations, the box office, and Utah Jazz Team Store for the benefit of all fans.”

Mobile payment options will include Apple, Samsung, Google and Android Pay. Jazz Notes will also be accepted, as well as payments through the Utah Jazz + Vivint Arena app digital wallet.

A release sent out said that fans that are not able to make e-payment will be given the facility to use five cash-to-card kiosks, which will be located throughout the main and upper concourses and the America First Atrium. The machines can be used for free and convert cash to a prepaid Mastercard debit card that can be used inside or outside the arena. The arena noted that cash-to-card conversions have attributed for less than one per cent of all transactions at the venue since October.

Fans have the option not to queue up before R&R Barbeque, El Cubasco and the team store and can instead order express pick-up or in-seat delivery through the Jazz app.

It is not that money is not welcome here, but the arena prefers plastic money. The cashless option has been handed out with the objective of keeping queues short and reducing waiting time.

Research shows Americans are increasingly less reliant on greenbacks. The adult population in US is moving away from cash, but this trend is seen more among young Americans who have deep pockets.

Vivint Arena joins the bandwagon of big event and sports venues that have gone cashless – Mercedes Benz Stadium in Atlanta and Tropicana Field in Tampa. The Barclays Center in Brooklyn is also going cashless in a phased manner, although hard currency is still accepted by few and the facility also offers cash-to-card conversion kiosks.

Mercedes-Benz Stadium, the home of the NFL Atlanta Falcons and MLS Atlanta United, and the Tampa Bay RaysTropicana Field were the first US venues to go cashless in 2019. These moves to cashless concessions are significantly speeding up transaction times, reducing waiting lines, and improving operational efficiencies.

From the arena’s perspective, there are other benefits to cashless transactions – people tend to spend more money. “The average customer spend can increase by as much as 25 percent when using a card payment instead of cash,” found a study. Cash payments also mean the arena ends up spending more: The secure transportation of the cash, setting up tills, and “variances” — when sales made don’t equal the money in the register at the end of the day.

For those who only bring cash to the game, five kiosks will be located around the arena to convert their cash into a prepaid Mastercard. These kiosks will require a minimum first addition of $5, but there won’t be any fee to use the machines, the arena says. Those Mastercards will work anywhere, so if there’s still a balance on the card after a purchase, fans can spend that as they would a normal credit card outside of the arena.

Vivint Smart Home Arena is the home of the Utah Jazz with a basketball seating capacity of 18,306 and the region’s premier sports and entertainment venue and community gathering place. It hosts more than 100 events annually with nearly two million guests.

In 2017, the arena underwent a $125 million renovation on all six levels to upgrade amenities, including food offerings, rebooted technology, and fully-cushioned seats in the lower and upper bowls, new entry plaza, and 12,000-square-foot atrium at the main doors.

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