The San Francisco 49ers NFL team has announced that Levi’s Stadium will transition towards a fully cashless model in a move to enhance the fan experience at the venue.

The team has also signed a multi-year extension to its agreement with official payments partner Visa. The move towards a cashless model will see Levi’s Stadium only accept card or mobile payments for concessions, merchandise and other purchases.

The move is designed to minimise touchpoints for fans at Levi’s Stadium while reducing interactions with staff members amid heightened safety concerns due to COVID-19.

Fans without cashless payment options will be able to use four on-site cash-to-card kiosks, which will be set up around Levi’s Stadium and allow cash to be exchanged for a Visa-branded prepaid card worth up to $500 with no transaction fee. The prepaid cards can be used inside and outside of the venue.

49ers president Al Guido said: “While the move to fully cashless transactions in-venue has advanced more quickly due to the ongoing health emergency, this is a direction we have been heading for several years and we know it’s one that will further improve the fan experience at Levi’s Stadium.

“Six years of operational data here at Levi’s Stadium tells us that mobile payments are increasing while cash transactions decrease annually. And through our friends at Visa, we know contactless payments reduce transaction times, concessions lines, and some costs.”

The 49ers’ extended agreement with Visa will maintain the Visa Box Office at Levi’s Stadium. Visa will also become the presenting partner of the 49ers Team Store at Levi’s Stadium.

Visa worked with the 49ers to overhaul Levi’s Stadium’s concessions infrastructure ahead of the 2016 Super Bowl, ensuring the stadium was the first in the NFL to become fully contactless enabled.

Mary Ann Reilly, senior vice-president of North America marketing for Visa, added: “The 49ers offering a fully digital payments experience for each and every fan is a game changer.

“Whether buying at concessions in between plays or ordering from their seats, all fans will now be able to quickly and safely tap to pay, ultimately minimising touchpoints at checkout. Visa is happy to extend our partnership with the 49ers and provide the ultimate game experience whenever fans return.”

The transition to a cashless model comes as the 49ers introduce a new member-inclusive menu for this season. The offer includes food and beverage items as a benefit for season ticket holders in what the 49ers said marked a first for a sports team.

Levi’s Stadium joins Allegiant Stadium, CenturyLink Field and Mercedes-Benz Stadium as NFL venues that operate cashless models.

Image: San Francisco 49ers