Mobile and wearable ticketing users to shift to mobile contactless purchases by 2021

A new study from Juniper Research has found that the number of people using contactless ticketing via mobile or wearables devices will approach 300 million by 2021. This will represent around 1 in 5 mobile ticketing users across rail, metro/bus, airline, sports and entertainment.

The research found that the use of mobile and wearable tickets will be driven by the metro/bus sector, due in large part to the well-established contactless transport infrastructure already in place in countries such as Japan, UK, France, Hong Kong, Australia and Korea.

Wearable ticketing: The next frontier

The new research report – Mobile & Online Ticketing: Transport, Events & NFC 2016-2020 – found that while the primary focus for contactless ticketing, beyond the card, is currently the smartphone, the emergence of a range of connected wearable devices has piqued the interest of ticketing stakeholders.

It highlighted the rapid progress made by the key ticketing players including the likes of Fandango, StubHub, Trainline, American Airlines and Expedia in launching ticket apps for smartwatches such as the Apple Watch.

Research author Nitin Bhas added: “This means that ticketing providers are presenting a multi-channel ticketing offering to their omni-channel customers, thereby providing a seamless and integrated experience”.

However, the research argued that a majority of ticketing users will continue to use wearable devices purely for ticket validation rather than purchase, with the latter restricted to low value payments, primarily in the metro/bus and movie ticketing arenas.

NFC in airlines: Grounded at take-off

In contrast, the research found that the airline industry has been much slower to implement NFC, with many projects still at trial or pilot stage. NFC is unlikely to have much impact in the near-term on the purchase of airline tickets, with this activity remaining largely remote via online or mobile channels.

While the ‘ultimate’ position for NFC in airline is to replace boarding passes, baggage tickets and identity information, by storing them on the phone and accessed via readers, NFC boarding pass usage has not had any significant adoption over the past 12 months. Juniper Research has therefore significantly scaled back its forecasts for the anticipated future adoption of NFC boarding passes.

The whitepaper, Mobile ~ The Big Ticket, is available to download from the Juniper Research website together with details of the new research and interactive dataset.

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