RCD Espanyol de Barcelona, in collaboration with CaixaBank, will release its official app at the end of February
The club’s new official app will be one of the first in the world to include an integrated “wallet” in order to boost commercial services, creating the first cashless stadium in LaLiga
Fans will be able to order and collect everything they need to enjoy a match from their mobiles without having to queue or bring money or cards with them, or ordering products from home, bringing cashless to the RCDE Stadium.
Among the app’s new features are; access to the stadium without bringing your physical match ticket, the ability to securely lend your season ticket, and purchasing food, drink and merchandise to collect at a specified time without having to queue.
The project is the result of CaixaBank’s involvement as an official sponsor of the club, an agreement which allows both organisations to work together to provide fans with exclusive experiences and advantages, cementing CaixaBank’s position as the football clubs’ bank.
CaixaBank and RCD Espanyol de Barcelona have transformed the RCDE Stadium into the first cashless stadium in Spain. Today, both organisations present the innovative project, developed together, that will allow fans to access everything they need to enjoy a match through a mobile app, in a fast, secure and integrated way which eliminates the need for the fan to bring money (neither cash, nor card) to the stadium.
The app, that will become available in the next 15 days, is designed to represent a step forward in the experience of watching a football match. It will be available to anyone, whether they are a season ticket holder or simply a spectator, regardless of the bank or bankcard that they use. Moreover, to streamline the experience, the club has installed fast collection points for all food, drink and merchandise purchases made through the app. In this way, the RCDE Stadium becomes that first football stadium in Spain that allows full use of its facilities and services completely cashless.
At the presentation of the mobile app,
Agustí Filomeno, RCD Espanyol de Barcelona’s Director of Marketing and Sales, emphasised the benefits this project offers the fans “All the features they could possibly want, from requests for information to the opportunity not to have to bring cash to the stadium because it can all be done through this app. In fact, one of the driving ideas behind the app was to remove the need for season ticket holders to bring their cards with them in order to access the stadium. Now, they can get in with their mobile, or if they can’t come to the match they can lend it to someone else in a couple of clicks”.
María Alsina, CaixaBank’s Regional Director, explained that company “works very closely with all the clubs with which we have sponsorship agreements to support initiatives that improve the fans’ user experience”. “This is the first step to grow and add value proposals in the marketplaces with clubs and to improve the interaction between fans and their clubs”, Alsina concluded.
One of the first apps in football with an integrated wallet
The basis of the project was to create a new official app available on iOS and Android. It’s worth highlighting that this is one of the first apps developed by a football club in the world that has an integrated wallet, making in possible to bring together within the app a wide range of commercial functions that usually require the use of a number of independent apps.
The app provides all the services a fan could possibly need in a visit to the stadium, such as purchasing products from Aramark, the company that manages catering for RCD Espanyol de Barcelona, or the purchase of official club merchandise. The app also allows you to keep your ticket on your mobile and to allow you to lend your season ticket to another fan in a manner that is totally digital and also secure.
In the food and drink section of the app, which incorporates all Aramark sales points in the RCDE Stadium, the user makes the order and chooses a collection time that best suits him/her. The app then asks the user whereabouts in the stadium they are seated, and then shows the closest sales points. The client chooses a collection point and is then able to collect his/her order at a Click&Collect point installed in every bar in the stadium without having to queue.
When buying official club merchandise, the user can order products to collect at the store or to be delivered to their home. In the app’s virtual store, all official RCD Espanyol de Barcelona products are available with photographs and detailed descriptions.
With regards to access to the stadium, any member can turn their mobile into a valid ticket thanks to a QR code generated in the app. The system works for one off ticket purchases and season tickets. Consequently, the mobile phone functions as the season ticket card and the member doesn’t have to bring the card itself with him/her.
Moreover, if you want to lend your season ticket to a third party, the application allows you to transfer it digitally from app to app.
The application also allows fans to keep themselves permanently connected to the club, with a real-time newsfeed, updated fixture lists and more specific data, such as player profiles and statistics.
“Cashless” goal: Digital payment for a better user experience
The project, developed with RCD Espanyol de Barcelona reflects CaixaBank’s interest in working on innovative initiatives linked to user experience, which is one of the key points of the company’s Strategic Plan 2019-21, as is the promotion of cashless projects, linked to new digitals methods of payment.
Indeed, CaixaBank is currently the market leader in mobile payment, with 1.3 million clients and more than 100,000 users that make payments with smart watches or other wearables. It is similarly the leader in card payments, with a portfolio of more than 17 million cards and a billing fee of 23.7% on purchases and 28% through POS in shops.
Although the application created together with RCD Espanyol is the first cashless project in the sporting sector, the financial company has supported other initiatives related to digital payment, such as the Morella Cashless City experience of 2018 intended to promote digital and mobile payment in shops in Morella (Castellón), or Pamplona Cashless City, an initiative that seeks to foster the use of physical card payments and digital payments (mobile, card, wearable etc.) and reduce the use of cash in low-value transactions.
CaixaBank, the football clubs’ bank
The project is also the result of CaixaBank’s involvement with organisations that it sponsors, with the objective of working together to offer experiences and benefits exclusive to fans that can help the organisations to gain new supporters, improve customer loyalty and grow brand visibility.
This strategy is especially clear in the world of football, where CaixaBank is the reference entity for clubs. Currently, the financial organisation sponsors 17 First Division clubs and 13 Second Division clubs, which gives it a presence across the whole of Spain.
Since 2011, when the organisation began a special strategy to make its name as a sponsor of football, CaixaBank has marketed 200,000 cards linked to clubs that it sponsors, captured 25.000 salary deposits and funded 50.000 season tickets with the intention of connecting with the club and helping the club with its needs and interests.