RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s match against Mexico at the FIFA World Cup saw the highest volume of in-stadium payment transactions of the group stage games, according to data released by Visa.
The payment company has published research showing that consumer spending at the tournament is on course to surpass the total outlay in the previous World Cup.
According to the data, spending by value at Qatar 2022 during the group stages is already at 89 percent of the total seen in Russia 2018.
Compared to the tournament in Brazil in 2014, almost double had been spent by the time the World Cup reached the knock-out rounds in Qatar.
Between kick-off on Nov. 20 to the final group stage match on December 2, 70% of all consumer spend by value at World Cup venues was on internationally issued Visa cards with the US leading on 18 percent, followed by Mexico on nine percent Saudi Arabia on eight percent.
“For Qatar 2022, Visa enabled more payment terminals in official venues than ever before and are trialing some innovative new ways to pay around Qatar, so paying for things can be less cumbersome and fans can stay in the moment and focus on the beautiful game,” said Saeeda Jaffar, senior vice president and group country manager, Gulf Cooperation Council at Visa.
The average in-stadium transaction amount for all matches during the group stage of the tournament play was $23. During all matches the top three spend categories were merchandise on 47 percent, food and beverages on 36 percent, and ticketing on 11 percent.
The increased spend comes despite lower than anticipated numbers of fans traveling to the event.
According to a report obtained by Reuters, Qatar received just over 765,000 visitors during the first two weeks of the World Cup, falling short of the country’s expectations for an influx of 1.2 million during the month-long event.
The Dec. 7 report was prepared by the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy , which organizes the tournament, and said that the first 17 days of the World Cup saw 765,859 international visitors, more than half of whom have now departed.
The report registered 1.33 million match ticket holders and 3.09 million tickets sold across the eight stadiums in Qatar for the tournament that ends on Dec. 18.