Smartcards help Man City improve security

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Smartcards help Man City improve security

Daniel Thomas
With just a few weeks of the football season gone, Manchester City Football Club is already reaping the benefits of a smartcard system it implemented during the summer at its new stadium.

The club, which started playing at the City of Manchester Stadium in August, rolled out the smartcard system, which runs on an IBM eServer iSeries platform, to improve its understanding of customers and help to drive up revenue.

The system links a Fortress access system to the club's ticketing and customer relationship management system from Software4Sport. Fans hold a smartcard, known as a Citycard, over a card reader fitted at each turnstile when they enter the stadium.

Every time the Citycard is used, the information is recorded on Fortress GB's Smart Stadium Management Server, and is presented at the stadium's control room, allowing the club to know which fan entered the stadium, when and through which turnstile.

The benefits have been twofold. Fans have seen entry times halved, and the club has improved security as the microchip on the cards has made them more difficult to forge than traditional paper tickets.

The second phase of the project will integrate further applications to the card, such as loyalty schemes and an electronic purse.

First Division club Millwall also implemented a smartcard system for this season and expects it to help in a crackdown on hooliganism.

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