A new study by Juniper Research has found that as many as 1 in 8 (13%) of North American and Western European mobile users will use their NFC-enabled mobile phone as a metro rail or bus ticket by 2016, compared with less than 1% today. Worldwide, mobile users are now beginning to adopt mobile tickets as an integrated part of their mobile lifestyle, whether for airline, road or rail transport, sporting or entertainment event access.
The report found that, while mobile tickets of all types are growing in popularity, the ability to “tap” an NFC phone containing a mobile ticket against an entrance gate has tremendous user appeal. For operators, a mobile phone ticket also provides new marketing and sales opportunities previously not available using paper or contactless smartcard tickets.
The report warns, however, that NFC Ticketing must be thoroughly tested before being launched to the public. For metro and bus tickets in particular, speed of passenger processing is of the essence and queues must not be allowed to build up as a result of ticket processing delays either in mobile phones, gating or back office systems.
According to report author David Snow, “NFC mobile ticketing is still in its early stages, but it holds great promise across the entire mobile ticketing market. Metro ticketing is leading the way as an NFC ticket is a natural evolution from a contactless transport card and can leverage the existing infrastructure. Add to this the option of simultaneous payment and you have created a compelling user experience.”
The report also suggests that, worldwide, mobile ticketing transactions are set to quadruple to 23 billion by 2016 and that NFC mobile tickets will represent more than 50% of all mobile ticketing revenue by the same time.