Mobile Ticketing & the Value Add

by Chuck Martin on June 30, 2013

By Chuck Martin

Replacements for relatively routine activities could be the drivers for some aspects of mobile commerce.

A new study around mobile ticketing projects that more than 950 million phone users globally will use their handsets for mobile ticketing within five years.

That would be an increase from about 460 million this year, according to the findings from Juniper Research.

As you might expect, the airline industry is a strong proponent of mobile ticketing along with mobile boarding passes. But it’s not only in airline travel where consumers are going more mobile, though the major action does appear to be in transportation.

The study noted that mobile has been a key ticketing delivery channel across Scandinavian metros and that mobile ticketing also has been increasing both in the U.S. and Europe. The researchers cite the Boston MBTA, which introduced mobile ticketing last year and was getting 10% of ticket sales via mobile less than two months after launch.

The obvious question this raises is will the move to mobile ticketing help propel NFC (near field communication) in the short run, and the research says not so much.

Aside from NFC not being in iPhones (or most phones, for that matter), Juniper points to the lack of standards as a great impediment.

The other issue is contactless cards are still just as easy to use as phones.

And that’s one of the key aspects of all mobile payment-type activities. Swiping a credit card or one used for mass transit is still easy.

Simply transferring the capability to the phone isn’t enough.

When paying for tickets or many other items, there has to be value added to make it worth the switch. This is why rewards programs are such a logical tie-in to payments, with associated value easily added.

For example, with Starbucks rewards, a consumer using mobile to pay can track their points, get downloads and see picks of the week in addition to just paying with their phone.

This makes the process more than simply trading a card, like a credit card, for a phone to do exactly the same thing with exactly the same result.

Chuck Martin is Editor of the mCommerce Daily at MediaPost and writes the daily MobileShopTalk column. He is the author of “Mobile Influence,” “The Third Screen,” and “The Smartphone Handbook.” He is CEO of Mobile Future Institute. Chuck Martin is a frequent Mobile Keynote Speaker and Mobile Marketing Speaker internationally.


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