Customer experience startup Nicco and global technology giant IBM are launching a digital wallet with the Manly Sea Eagles NRL side, branded Manly Money.

Fans of the Sea Eagles will be able to skip the queues at half time by ordering food, drinks and merchandise with Nicco’s digital wallet solution. Nicco says that it is “using tech to enhance human engagement and the human experience”.

That may seem a bold claim for what will be, at first at least, a shortcut to overpriced pies and watery drinks.

However, Richelle Nicols, CEO of Nicco, explains that the digital wallet uses AI-powered search to better understand customer preferences by interpreting their profile data, allowing the Sea Eagles to share targeted, meaningful offers with users. 

Richelle Nicols, CEO, Nicco

“In time, the app will also provide fans with customised offers, rewarding customers for their loyalty and ultimately saving them money,” says Nicols.

Importantly, it will also improve venue safety with less people standing in queues, blocking access to aisles, doors and exits.”

In the new post-COVID normal, as people return to stadiums for live sport, that’s a key consideration.

According to Nicols, “[The digital wallet] is simple to use and will deliver an improved match day experience, leveraging IBM AI no matter where you are in the stadium.”

The core of Nicco’s business is granular data, and the payments solution leveraged IBM Garage, deploying design thinking to generate innovation projects. The data will be stored on the IBM Cloud.

According to Wesley Allen, Head of Cloud for ANZ at IBM, “By working with Nicco to roll out Manly Money with the Sea Eagles, we are helping to deliver an enhanced customer experience as fans return to the stadium. With IBM Cloud and AI technology, fans can securely make purchases from their seats and spend more time enjoying the game instead of waiting in queues.”

IBM’s commitment to delivering an open, hybrid and secure cloud is central to Nicco’s vision to transform the economy of sport by enhancing the consumer experience. 

“Enabling seamless customer experience is critical for companies as they modernise their workloads in the hybrid cloud era,” says Wesley.

The Manly Money pilot will take place on the 11th of June at the  Sea Eagles vs the Cowboys game at the iconic Brookvale Oval. All going well, the app will be made available later this year.

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