More than 16 billion transport and events tickets will be delivered annually to mobile handsets by 2018, according to a new report from Juniper Research, three times the volume expected this year. While adoption will be strong across a range of markets, volume growth will be driven by metro and bus deployments, most notably in the relatively untapped US market.
The report – Mobile Ticketing Strategies: Air, Rail, Metro, Sports & Entertainment 2013-2018 – noted that SMS-based solutions had achieved particularly strong adoption across markets such as Sweden, where mobile now accounts for 65% of bus ticketing sales. However, it argued that app-based alternatives delivering 2D barcodes were expected to gain greater traction elsewhere as smartphone adoption increased and would account for the majority of sales within the forecast period in developed markets.
Furthermore, the report highlighted that a number of companies across the transport and event ticketing sectors had recognised that mobile delivery offered the opportunity to add value to the ticketing process. It argued that integration of mobile ticketing platforms with loyalty programmes was key to customer retention, offered a means of upselling additional services and cross-promotional opportunities.
As report author Dr Windsor Holden observes: “The airline industry in particular has led the way in utilising mobile as a sales and loyalty channel. More than half of airlines are planning major investments in mobile over the next three years, employing mobile as a means of enhance customer self-service options throughout the end-to-end passenger travel process.”
The report also finds that transport operators should consider issuing smartphones to staff for mTicket validation. However, the short-term opportunities for NFC ticketing are limited with a lack of implementation standards a key barrier to interoperability.