Barclaycard has signed up one the UK’s biggest venue groups as part of its marketing drive to grow its contactless terminals distribution network.
The acquiring arm of the British lender has signed a five-year deal with NEC Group, making Barclaycard the official payment partner of The Ticket Factory, the LG Arena, the National Exhibition Centre (NEC) and National Indoor Arena (NIA).
After a refurbishment phase set to finish by 2014, the NIA, which is the city centre venue of the UK’s second largest city Birmingham, will be called NIA, A Barclaycard Unwind Experience.
Initially, Barclaycard will implement contactless POS devices at food and beverage merchants inside the venues, although some will also be deployed at the box offices, said head of experiential marketing and partnerships at Barclaycard, Dan Mathieson, told Cards International.
The number of terminals to be deployed is “still to be decided”, Mathieson said.
Neither is it clear yet when the terminals will be implemented, but Mathieson said the implementation of the POS terminals was not linked to the refurbishment of NIA.
He added that Barclaycard was in “regular conversations” with NEC Group and that they were discussing extending the contactless technology to mobile payments as Barclaycard has already got a partnership with Orange.
Next stage: contactless ticketing, access control
The next stage of the contactless payment deal “will be ticketing and access control,” he said.
Barclaycard will offer exclusive offers, such as tickets, access to customer lounges and fast track entrances at the NEC Group’s venues for its Barclaycard Unwind rewards programme customers.
“Contactless does play a key role in our acquiring relationship. It was an easy conversion, NEC Group is interested in innovation and contactless technology is an obvious opportunity to work together,” he said.
“From a marketing perspective, payment innovation was a key element of the conversions – whether that is online, mobile or contactless. Having a national arena allows us to create this payment innovation centre and showcase new payment methods.”
Mathieson added that contactless technology “makes sense in the venue space because time is of essence”.
Barclaycard has a track record in the music and entertainment industry, including Barclaycard Mercury Prize and Barclaycard Wireless Festival and Wembley Arena.
Barclaycard had 23.5m customers and 87,000 merchant relationships as of February 2012. 56,000 stores have got contactless payment terminals.
Barclaycard has got 15.3m contactless-enabled Barclaycard and Barclays debit cards