Monday, April 18, 2011

Underthinking RWC payment

So recently I was made aware of the fact that because Mastercard has the sponsorship for the Rugby World Cup, EFTPOS will only be available in Auckland and Wellington, and only for Mastercard holders. Otherwise you need to use Mastercards Tap and Go card.  

Tap and Go, now that is a secure system.
They claim that it will speed up transactions, and it is pretty standard exclusivity deal. I, however have a few issues with it. They claim that EFTPOS terminals are not readily available in Stadiums, well I am pretty sure that's a lie, I have been to many stadium in the South Island and yes it is slow, but there is always EFTPOS avaliable. And since portable EFTPOS machines are readily available then it would seem a non issue to make them available.

My last Taxi Driver had one of these, I am pretty sure a Stadium could get one
Secondly, you can't you use a credit card for EFTPOS anyway, so presumable the machines will accept any card, just they will only let you use it if you can prove you have a Mastercard, surely this will slow the process down, since you have to present two cards to pay for items? Three if alcohol is involved.

"Okay, one of these shows I am over 18 to buy beer, one buys the beer, and one proves I can buy the beer, but which is which?"
I get that this occurs with other products, for example at this world cup, since Heineken is sponsoring you can only buy that brand of beer in the stadium. Fine that's a one off event, you don't have to change your drinking habits outside the game.

"SIR, You attended a RWC game last week, you must continue drinking Heineken"
Whereas with methods of payment, you have to change to Mastercard to be able to purchase things electronically within the stadium, which seems like a bit of a crock. I don't have figures but anecdotally, most people I know use VISA, over Mastercard, it seems like a bit overkill to change how you purchase things for a one off event.

But hang on you say, Azzy, there are other methods of payment, you could just get a tap and go card, and get rid of it after the World Cup. Yea okay, but these cards seem to have a few flaws.

1/. Your money is locked in

You can't reload this card and it costs $5-$10 to buy one every time, which seems like a flaw. The Oyster card, which one can use to get around London on the public transport system is reloadable, so its not like the technology doesn't exist.

"Look Harry, I have run the numbers, and I don't think we can ever make these cards reloadable"
So this means you have to decide how much money you will spend before you load one up.

"How much beer and pies will I require?"
That isn't so bad you say, just overestimate how much, and use it up later. I don't know about you but I haven't seen any of these Tap and Go places around the place, so you would have to use it up at the RWC or wait until it takes off I guess.
I guess you could spend it all on food and drink and the game and try and sell the excess to other punters.

This guy overestimated how much money he would need.
2/. The security on them seems a little lax

So, how do these cards work? Well its in the name, Tap and go, you tap your card and the appropriate amount is deducted. Sure this is fast, but how secure is it?
Suppose you are going to 4 World cup games you might load on $500 or something for all those pies, you are going to eat.
So all someone has to do is steal your wallet, and then they can have spend your $500 on pies and beers (so not lucrative theft, but does save them money).

George Fields: Tap and go Thief.
With the old system once they have stolen your wallet, they would still have to figure out your pin number, or at least make an attempt at forging your signature. Granted forging a signature is not exactly hard work, but at the very least it would slow down the thief's pie consumption.

"Goddamnit I wish I had stolen a tap and go card."

The last word is, I guess you could just ignore the technology completely and take a wad of cash to the game. I mean it would be just as quick, you can use the excess cash anywhere, and it is just as secure as carrying a tap and go card.
If you are going to World cup are you going to tap and go? or carry cash?

Either way I will see ya there


  1. You can also use some current Mastercards that have the chip. That is the thing, I thought all places had EFTPOS these days, so how is this improving service?

  2. I don't think it is about improving service, it is about getting return on their sponsorship...

  3. For the record, I will probably not buy anything at the matches. Rugby is short and I don't want to play over inflated prices plus the additional price of a tap and go card to buy anything. Otherwise I will just take cash which I usually do on the off chance there is the chance of buying cheap tickets and or wheeling and dealing.

  4. I got it all explained by a Blogger commenter called MasterCard.


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