A young sales technology company has launched a new ticketing solution allowing users to buy and redeem tickets through a tap of their smartphone.
Dublin, Ireland-based ticketfriend, a ticket sales and event promotion company, has since 2009 provided a space for users to buy, sell and promote tickets to events through their Web site. With the refinement of near field communications (NFC) technology over the years, the company has made a decision to move into mobile contactless ticketing, and it has just launched a new app specifically for use with Google’s Android operating system. NFC allows users to tap their smartphones to another device to make a purchase or exchange information.
“The app enables end-to-end contactless event ticketing,” company CEO Liam Rabbit recently told TicketNews. “We think it’s important because NFC-enabled phones will allow event promoters to deploy a contactless and mobile-based ecosystem without large capital investment or disruption. In particular, the promise for promoters is paperless ticketing and cashless events.”
The app is integrated into the larger ticketfriend product, which enables promoters and event organizers to set up and manage events on the site. The site has made great use of social networking to augment promotion efforts over the years, and social networking has a prominent role in this new application as well.
On the consumer end, “[the new app] also allows ticket buyers to integrate their event going experience with their social networking channels,” Rabbit said. And, promoters stand to get substantial benefits: “Event promoters in particular have a lot to gain from mobile ticketing beyond the cost benefits of going paperless. For one, they can increase ticket-holder loyalty by integrating event promotion and ticketing offering into the ticket-holder’s social networking bubble. Compelling ticket-oriented offers, ancillary revenue streams, and more personalised and cost-effective ticketing options can be developed.”
Using the new app, fans purchase tickets by tapping their NFC phone against another NFC device or NFC-enabled display. At the venue, the user taps their phone against the device held by staff to redeem tickets. A video showing how the process works can be found here.
The new technology will work for both NFC devices and non-NFC devices. For those without NFC-enabled devices, ticketfriend will issue a card which can electronically store the user’s tickets. This contingency will likely be important as these types of apps hit the U.S. market, since there is no real NFC wave happening with smartphones here to date.
Operating primarily in Ireland, ticketfriend launched the Google Android app earlier in the year, testing it out first with a small Dublin venue. Since then the client base has expanded to include a number of area venues and promoters, and Rabbit reports having a number of successful events thus far. The company earns revenue by receiving a portion of the proceeds from each ticket sold through the site.
Rabbit sees his company growing through development of new relationships with promoters and increasing the company’s client base, as well as eventually making the product available for anyone to use to manage their own events.
The CEO is also eager to explore the potential of mobile ticketing. “We think the real value of mobile ticketing is only beginning to be uncovered. The mobile phone has become a ubiquitous lifestyle accessory. You can now do much more than just send a ticket by SMS to a consumer’s mobile phone.” And he sees ticketfriend as playing a significant role in this movement. “You can expect to see more of ticketfriend in [the fourth quarter of] this year.”