The parent company of the National Hockey League’s Calgary Flames and the Canadian Football League’s Calgary Stampeders recently tapped Interac and Square to streamline payments at McMahon Stadium and the Scotiabank Saddledome.
“The world changed during the pandemic, and people’s payment habits had changed with it,” explains Square’s Karisa Marra.
Yet McMahon Stadium and the Saddledome were still mostly reliant on cash.
“One of our biggest pain points at the stadiums was payments,” Jason Johnson, a senior executive for the Calgary Sports and Entertainment Corporation (CSEC), lamented of the post-Covid “new normal” of payment technology and consumer expectations. “We needed to introduce new technologies, and the point-of-sale area was a real priority for us.”
According to Johnson, the CSEC took advantage of Interac Debit contactless payments via Square Register and Square Terminal systems so fans could enjoy a faster and more seamless experience paying for snacks, drinks, and souvenirs.
“The time had really come to improve the fan experience in Calgary by modernizing the payment interactions,” stated Isabel Lee, a director of client solutions and investor relations for Interac.
According to Lee, the collaboration was “rooted in three leading organizations coming together to demonstrate the convenience, opportunity and scalability that an upgrade to fast contactless payments can offer on a pretty unique scale.”
Square Canada’s head of sales, Karisa Marra, agrees, adding that fast payments “gets fans back to their seats—or keeps them in their seats so they can order directly from there—which is massive.”
“That’s the biggest piece for customers,” Marra believes.
“The idea was to try to reduce transaction times,” agrees Johnson—and it worked.
“We were moving people through lines at an unprecedented rate, improving the fan experience by making our lines shorter and faster, and also giving people a very painless and seamless transaction,” the executive said.
“Ultimately contactless payment is about putting the customer first,” said Lee.
Lee noted how Interac has “helped small businesses modernize their payments to adapt in an evolving economy.” She added that the company also wants to provide a meaningful impact in other ways, “from connecting small businesses to their local communities or supporting a financial literacy program for diverse entrepreneurs.”