By David Kenny, country manager (UK) at events payment company TicketCo
For years the ticketing industry has been beset with problems.
Issues with touts, poor booking platforms, long queues and expensive fees have given the industry a bad name.
But driven by rapid advancements of technology, the industry is under-going a fast transformation that is benefitting customers and event organisers.
The tech is centred around the smart-phone, and some event organisers have been quick to benefit from the Uber-style transactions demanded by modern audiences. But many have yet to join the party. Mobile phone functionality and cloud-based technology offer cashless and ticketless solutions that are forcing ticketing into the modern age.
The benefits are vast. Firstly, it makes purchasing a ticket very simple and easy for the customer. It then provides upsell functionality at the point of sale, to help drive revenue. It removes the need for a physical ticket, saving on printing and postage costs.
At a stroke, cashless events also eliminate a range of security concerns including theft and the logistical difficulties of counting and transporting cash. Entry and on-site transactions, at bars and merchandise stands, are also far quicker, reducing queues and enhancing the customer experience.
Doing away with physical tickets and on-site cash transactions is the future. This year we launched the TicketCo Wallet app, hauling ticketing into the 21st century with hassle-free cashless payments for the consumer and a host of benefits for event organisers. For festivals, a cloud-based solution cuts the need for wristbands and coupons, and organisers can instantly access crucial data like crowd levels and on-site buying habits.
The audience use the app to buy both tickets and cashless credit straight from the event organiser, with one-click payments just like you do with the Uber app. The tickets and cashless credit are stored in the app with quick access for when entering the event and purchasing throughout the festival.
Every cashless purchase automatically generates a receipt for the user and is stored in the app. The app also handles push notifications with geo fencing for the event organiser to run promotions and give event updates. The app also handles refunds of unused credit to the customer.
I have seen how technology has modernised numerous event business. TicketCo has been heavily involved with football clubs and cashless stadiums are certainly on the horizon. Next year TicketCo plans to launch cardless payments. This will bring us miles ahead of the rest of the event payments industry. The payment solution is already developed and we are waiting to secure the Europe-wide e-money licence we need to make this happen. With such technology, internet connectivity won’t be an issue and payments can be made in an offline environment.
Cash is no longer king, and tickets are no longer king. We are witnessing the final age of the cash and physical ticket era. Who carries around cash these days? The audience will soon expect lightning-fast mobile-click payments and the reduction of queues it brings, and this will not only wipe out cash and printed tickets in the festival industry, it will also wipe out the cashless suppliers who are not up to speed.