First Direct Arena in the English city of Leeds has become the latest entertainment venue to transition to a cashless model.

The arena said the move is designed to speed up sales and reduce customers’ waiting time during events. Bars in all areas of the arena will now only accept card or contactless payments.

This covers the Black & White Lounge, the FD Bar, suite level locations and arena concourse bars. The arena will accept Maestro, Mastercard, Visa, Apple Pay, Android Pay and Gpay options.

First Direct Arena said it would endeavour to provide a short-term option for cash sales for anyone who forgets their card. However, the venue stressed that this is not guaranteed and may involve “significantly longer” queueing time.

Merchandise from the arena can still be bought with cash. The ticket office will also continue to accept cash.

First Direct Arena, which is operated by ASM Global, opened in 2013 and has a capacity of 13,700. Upcoming events at the arena include The 1975, The Script, Morrissey, James Arthur and The Who.

An increasing number of sports and entertainment venues are moving towards a cashless model. Other UK-based venues to have announced cashless plans recently include Cardiff’s Principality Stadium, Bristol City’s Ashton Gate and Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium.

Image: John Seb Barber