Ticketing – It’s Time to Go Mobile

Copenhagen 08/07/2013

There’s no question about it – passengers have gone truly mobile, and expect nothing less from PTCs (public transit companies).

We’ve been in the mobile ticketing business since 2008, and have some of the most successful mobile ticketing cases in the world. We’ve seen more than 70 million mobile tickets fly through our system since we started, and we have absolutely no doubt that that number is just scratching the surface.

The beauty of mobile ticketing is that it’s a win/win for everyone. It gives passengers the ability to buy their tickets whenever they want, and from wherever they want. They’re no longer restricted to ticket vending machines, which often break down, and have long, long queues in front of them – especially during annual events, or peak tourist periods. It can also let them receive up-to-the-minute travel information; if the bus or train is late, they find out before they’ve even left home, not standing outside in the rain. It also gives transport companies the knowledge that they’re giving their customers the best possible service, significantly contributing to their overall travel experience. On top of this, it saves them money thanks to the reduced need for vending machines (and the maintenance, paper, and other costs which go hand-in-hand with them).

But don’t just take our word for it. Accenture made a few headlines recently when they released their survey results on the state of mobile ticketing. The findings, while not all that surprising, were definitive; go mobile, or go home.

Of course it’s not just Accenture’s findings that show this. A quick Google throws up pages of findings from years ago and up to the present day. It’s been known for some time that ticketing would – sooner or later – become paperless, mostly due passenger demand, thanks to technology. Smartphones have given passengers the power to do what they want, when they want, and with the world of apps at their fingertips, it was only a matter of time before travel, be it ticketing or up-to-the-minute information, came to an app near you.

“Consumer technology is driving a huge expectation for flexible travel – an expectation that transit agencies cannot afford to ignore,” said Philippe Guittat, Global Managing Director of Accenture’s Transportation Practice.

It’s not just smartphones and app ticketing, either. Dumbphones (aka analogue phones) were at it long before smartphones. SMS ticketing enabled passengers to buy a ticket via their phone by simply sending an SMS – what could be easier?

Yet many PTCs around the world have yet to wake up and smell the…tech: surprising when there are almost 1 billion (billion) mobile ticketing users expected by 2018. In fact, eMarketer forecasts that already by 2016 the number of people who will actually book travel by smartphone will jump from 15.8 million to 36.3 million annually.

Countries all over the world are beginning to phase out paper tickets. From Denmark to India, traditional tickets and ticket books are becoming a thing of the past. It’s high time to meet passengers on their turf. As Mike Wilson, Managing Director of Accenture’s Transportation practice in North America said, “Companies need to deal with customers on their terms – by providing them with transit options that meet their needs – when where and how they want it, and that requires that the interaction be relevant to the situation and their needs at the time.”

There are going to be around 4.4 billion app users by the end of 2017, and they (and their analogue friends) already have their mind made up.

Whether it’s time saving (88%), less queuing, (84%), self-service ticketing (82%) or 24-hour services (81%), it would seem that passengers all have their reasons for wanting the current state of ticketing to change.

In fact, 75% of passengers believe that some form of electronic ticketing would make travel easier, and 93% would love the option of purchasing a single ticket for multiple modes of transport. UK Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin says: “The simple fact is that the journey from buying tickets online to taking your seat on the train is too complicated at the moment. By harnessing the latest technology to make the ticketing process easier, we can vastly improve the passenger experience.”

The ball is in the transportation companies’ court. They need to prove that they’re willing and able to embrace technology, and give their passengers the extra service that they are so enthusiastic about.

If you’d like to find out more about our mobile ticking solutions, from SMS to apps, just get in touch with us via the contact box on the left. We’ll be happy to tell you more.

Accenture-public-transport-infographic

For more information:
Lara Mulady
Online Communications Manager
+45 5045 2396
lmu@unwire.com

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