Digital Ticketing & Transit Recovery

POSTED BY Nick Maynard
In terms of user adoption, a significant proportion of ticket sales now occurs online. Indeed, online has become the primary ticketing method in the airline and events industries. 

Mobile ticketing has also been evolving over the past few years and has become the preferred channel in several segments. User adoption is driven by the suitability of mobile in the space; mobile ticketing for both metro/bus and entertainment represents a much simpler and easier method of validation than other methods. In addition, ticketing on smartphones in the entertainment space enables integration with installed apps; providing further opportunities to increase revenue. 

User adoption in this area is based on the suitability of mobile in the space. Mobile ticketing for metro/bus and for entertainment ticketing is far simpler and easier to validate than other methods. For entertainment, ticketing on smartphones enables integration with smartphone apps, which can provide extra opportunities to increase revenue.

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a major impact on ticketing. The market has already experienced significant disruption, and Juniper Research anticipates this disruption will continue at least until the end of 2021, with both vaccination and case rates still highly variable globally. Markets that are negatively impacted also face long-term issues, as they struggle to recover from the economic impacts arising from the spread of COVID-19. Despite a potential end to measures imposed by governments, such as social distancing and self-isolation, markets classified in this sector will feel negative impacts into 2022 and beyond. In some markets, such as the aviation industry, it will take several years to return to pre-virus operational levels.

A possible limitation to the recovery of both the public transport and events industries is the prospect of a ‘COVID-19 passport,’ as the global expectancy of eventually owning one increases. A COVID passport is a person’s proof of double vaccination which will be their ‘ticket’ to validate their right to enter a nightclub or take a flight, etc. In March 2021, it emerged that the EU was planning to launch a digital green certificate scheme, where citizens who have been vaccinated against COVID-19, had the illness and recovered, or have a negative test result can prove this via a digital app. In the UK, it will be mandatory for all those entering a nightclub or attending a largely crowded event to be double vaccinated and have a COVID passport from the end of September 2021. Canada and the US are also planning on implementing their own vaccine passports.

Contactless card and NFC payments for ticketing have been supported by some countries faster than others. Japan and Korea have been using FeliCa technology for some years, whilst markets such as the US, are only now growing strongly in the contactless ticketing space. In countries such as France, the UK and Turkey, there has been a dramatic adoption, with the reasons for progress varying from country to country. However, it is clear that in certain countries, NFC, contactless payments and ticketing are being driven by government initiatives and the contributions of major transport operators.

The term ‘account-based ticketing’ refers to a smart ticketing system where ticketing information and fare calculation is done and stored to a linked account, rather than on a physical ticket. Ticketing processes, such as fare calculation, are executed in real-time in the cloud. Each passenger is assigned a unique ID, which links to the background account.

Account-based ticketing will become increasingly disruptive in transport ticketing; providing customers with a more convenient and seamless ticketing experience. This technology will facilitate the move from closed-loop ticketing solutions to open-loop solutions, where the same device/token or payment mechanism can be used for multiple ticketing systems. This will be a key driver of the interoperability of major transport verticals such as rail, metro, and bus. Account-based ticketing is a crucial enabler of MaaS solutions; meaning that a single account can be used to pay for multimodal transit.

Our latest whitepaper, Digital Ticketing ~ Driving Transit Recovery, explores the impact of COVID-19 on the digital ticketing landscape, as well as new trends in the digital ticketing industry.

Related Research: Digital Ticketing: Competitor Leaderboard, Segment Analysis & Market Forecasts 2022-2027