Paying with your smart phone or watch was so last year. Fans of Gelsenkirchen’s football/soccer club Schalke 04 (S04) will have a new way of paying for those brats and beers during games, and all it takes is handing over their newly purchased team jersey.
No, fans won’t have to actually hand over their shirt itself, but instead the jersey will come equipped with a NFC chip that, once synced with a bank account or credit card, acts the same way most modern phones can.
It appears that S04 is the first to attempt such a feat commercially and there are still a few equations left unanswered before the shirts officially go on sale during home games in the 2017/18 season. How fans link the payments and how close one has to get their sleeve to the payment terminal are the two biggies left out of the details. While it’s safe to assume adequate testing has been done — this is Germany of course — the true test will be when hundreds, if not thousands, of fans rush to get their goods at halftime.
S04 has teamed up with online supermarket AllyouneedFresh for a four-year partnership to make this happen and will have the payment chip hidden behind their logo on the jersey sleeve.