MerlinTouch casts a spell over rugby union club

Jersey Reds
Club Systems International (CSI) has been the market leader of the UK&I golf IT industry for more than 30 years - and now it's set to make a similar impact in rugby union after Championship outfit Jersey Reds implemented the MerlinTouch epos system at the Stade Santander International. 

The club introduced the system initially to speed up bar transactions during the busy pre-match, half-time and post-match rush - but the product has now been enhanced to handle the corporate side of a matchday. Contactless technology allows members to use a pre-paid card to pay for their drinks in seconds and the club believed a similar facility would improve the corporate experience.

  The subsequent development allows the corporate host to provide either a corporate card or a wristband to their guests to enable them to add drinks to the bill for later invoicing. The wristband contains a contactless chip, allowing the user to touch a reader on any of the tills. This then automatically opens the account for that guest's table and allows bar staff to add the drinks to the table. 

Each table can have as many wristbands - or cards, or a mixture of both - assigned to it as required, and each can have a date and time expiry, ensuring they can't be used after a selected time, or at the next game. 

The system was used for the first time in the recent Greene King IPA Championship fixture against Doncaster Knights, whose officials were so impressed that they are considering implementing the system themselves. 

In addition to using MerlinTouch on 17 tills, the St Peter-based club has also implemented another market-leading product, CSI's ClubV1 cloud-based administration system. 

Jersey club manager Sean Dunne said: "I have come from a leisure background and have worked in many clubs and used many systems, but I have found the Club Systems experience and ClubV1 system easy to integrate into the business. The day-to-day administrative tasks have got a lot easier and become more streamlined, plus the data it provides is outstanding.

"The easy-use smart card to pay for goods at the bar and to obtain entry has gone down well; it's also been appreciated by our corporate clients who have bar tabs - cashless transactions with our wristbands have been great and, crucially, my average spend per person has gone up … not to mention that my printing costs have also gone down with ticketless entry. 

"This system is a must for all clubs: it works for both club and member and has the ability and potential to venture into other areas of the business and create other revenue streams." 

The system was designed originally for member clubs which - particularly in golf - are keen to add value to a member's annual subscription. However, the feature added for Jersey Reds would be suited to any arena where corporate hospitality is available. 

And CSI's national sales manager, Gary Hamilton, believes a number of professional sports clubs, which derive significant revenue from corporate boxes and functions, would benefit from implementing this latest version of MerlinTouch. 

He added: "Golf clubs, for example, will generally offer a discount to members who load their card in advance, which means the club have that money in their bank. So it's ideal for that member environment. But with the latest incarnation of MerlinTouch it's also perfect for a corporate setting. 

"We are receiving more and more enquiries from outside the golf industry - including cricket, soccer and bowls clubs - which is hugely encouraging and is testament to the R&D which has gone into the product."  The latest golf club to install the ClubV1 system is Boundary Lakes, adjacent to the Ageas Bowl, the home of Hampshire County Cricket Club. 

Club Systems International Ltd has been designing, building and supporting IT systems for golf clubs since 1982. Now, with nearly 2,000 golf clubs in the UK and Ireland - along with customers as far afield as Dubai, Ghana and Sri Lanka - CSI has grown to lead the UK and Ireland golf club market.

Pin It