CHARLOTTE, N.C. — It's time to play ball! The Charlotte Knights opened their season this week and many people are eager to take in a ballgame after being cooped up for a year.
This year, many ballparks and professional sports venues are moving away from cash, opting for contactless transactions to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
For younger people, this is nothing new. They already use apps like Venmo, Zelle and Apple Pay to buy products regularly. Older people tend to like credit cards, and some, old-fashioned paper money is their preferred choice. But for how much longer?
If COVID-19 taught us anything, it reminded us that money, paper money, that cold hard cash, is germy and dirty. But with the help of technology, society is moving away from it.
“Now, your cash is no good anymore at most large stadiums,” said Ted Rossman with Bankrate.com.
Rossman says don’t cry foul, instead, hit a home run with going cashless for many reasons, especially considering how many places want money other than cash if possible.
“Twenty-six out of the 30 MLB parks are moving away from cash and more towards mobile payments. Heck, I even just bought Girl Scout cookies by using my phone, so there are so many examples of things that used to be cash that are not,” said Rossman.
Reverse ATMs will be showing up, where you put cash or a debit card in and get back a prepaid card to use.
So now, your hot dog, beer, peanuts and Cracker Jack will be purchased electronically. If you're concerned about security, Rossman says you shouldn't be.
"Mobile payments are the most secure o fall because there is a biometric built in," he said. "You scan your thumb or face ID, depending on the type of phone you have."
It's cleaner, speedier and more convenient, so look to see what your ballpark or venue is asking for. Chances are, it won't be cash. COVID-19 and the pandemic made society more comfortable with the blending of the physical and digital worlds.
If you want to use cash, you’ll still be able to for a while, but these other options are taking over and will be the future.
Contact Bill McGinty at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Facebook.