Allianz Arena, home of German Bundesliga football club Bayern Munich, has teamed up with Skidata to introduce Apple Pay and other digital innovations as part of continued plans to enhance its fan experience.

Fans who are iPhone or Apple Watch users can begin using Apple Pay at all kiosks and fan shops in the stadium, starting with Bayern’s home match against RB Leipzig on December 19.

Bayern holds an exclusive partnership with Apple Music and the introduction of Apple Pay further strengthens the relationship between the two parties.

HypoVereinsbank has supported the implementation of the NFC and Apple Pay systems, providing Allianz Arena with around 250 state-of-the-art payment terminals. Bayern said that mobile snack and drink vendors will be able to accept NFC payment in the next year.

Bayern also said it is working with Apple and Skidata to ensure that it is the first Bundesliga team to offer fans a convenient digital ticket solution. Beginning immediately, fans are able to load their tickets into their Apple Wallets and will then be able to hold their iPhone/Apple Watch to the ticket scanner at stadium access points.

The NFC reader has been supplied by Skidata, an international leader in the field of access solutions and their management. With the Skidata solution, a stadium operator is able to generate contactless tickets from their in-house system, enabling customers to add them securely to their iPhone or Apple Watch and admit visitors at the gate.

Hugo Rohner, Skidata chief executive, said: “It’s our ambition always to be a step ahead of the market. Our ultimate strong point is our ability not just to deliver the necessary hardware but also to provide software, including secure ticket delivery, that’s specifically tailored to the needs of the customer. We provide the all-in-one package. Today, 85 per cent of admission tickets are paper-based, with electronic tickets accounting for the remaining 15 per cent. That’s going to change over the next few years.”

Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge added: “We are very proud to offer this forward-looking payment option using cell phones in the Allianz Arena in conjunction with our partner Apple.

“Continuous modernisation and innovation are a hallmark of FC Bayern München. We are continually investing in new technologies to keep the Allianz Arena current with the state of the art.”

Rummenigge continued: “Our goal is to process ticketing using only digital technology so that in the future we can phase out paper tickets entirely. In addition to maximising user-friendliness, this step represents a valuable contribution to environmental protection and is thus a further measure in our sustainability strategy.”

Apple Pay is available from the start to all customers of participating banks, such as HypoVereinsbank.

In other news, visitors to the Allianz Arena will no longer be required to have an Arena Card, with the stadium opening its payment system to all debit and credit cards. Newer-generation cards that support data exchange via near-field communication (NFC) can also be used for contactless payment.

Allianz Arena managing director Jürgen Muth said: “Even in our 14th year of operating the Allianz Arena, we continue to improve the stadium. User-friendliness is very important to us. I am therefore particularly excited that we can offer an even more effective payment service – and that at the request of our visitors.”

Image: Bayern Munich