Even without a home team participating in the FIFA World Cup, in-stadium data found that visitors from the United States spent the most among foreign travelers at this year’s FIFA World Cup, according to Visa, the Official Payment Services Partner of FIFA.
Visa’s payment data, which tracked in-stadium spending from the opening match on June 14 through the semi-finals, found that the top-spending countries behind Russia (750 million rubles; $12 million) were the United States (188 million rubles or $3 million), Mexico (94 million rubles or $1.5 million), China (67 million rubles or $1.1 million) and Argentina (41 million rubles or $700,000).
Rounding out the top 10 are Peru (35 million rubles or $560,000), England (34 million rubles or $550,000), Brazil (28 million rubles or $500,000), Colombia (26 million rubles or $420,000) and Australia (25 million rubles or $400,000).
Visa also found that 50% of purchases in venues were completed with contactless technology. Throughout the tournament, Visa enabled contactless payments for in-stadium purchases so that fans can spend less time in line and more time focused on the pitch.
Visa cardholders on average spent 1,408 rubles (approximately $23) per transaction inside the stadiums throughout the tournament. The largest average individual purchases were seen on in-stadium merchandise (4,200 rubles or $68), Fan Fest merchandise (3,300 rubles or $53) and in-stadium food and beverage (800 rubles or $13).
The sponsorship enables the financial services company to showcase the latest in payment innovation on a global stage, says Lynne Biggar, chief marketing and communications officer, Visa Inc.
“Visa cardholder spending data during the FIFA World Cup illustrates the growth of contactless payments in Russia and fans’ reliance on quick and secure payments so that they can spend less time in line and more time focused on the pitch,” Biggar says in a release.
Of the first 62 matches played at the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia, the opening match between the host nation and Saudi Arabia at Luzhniki Stadium had the highest payment volume, with fans spending over 55 million rubles (or $900,000). Of the total spend at the Opening Match, 69% came from Russian citizens and 31% came from non-Russian citizens.