The use of electronic tickets on smartphones is expected to become an increasingly common phenomenon, with over 34 billion tickets forecast to be sent to mobile devices over the next five years, according to new figures.

The ABI report, titled “Mobile Ticketing: Market Acceptance & Review of Competitive Platforms”, notes a range of technologies are used for authentication, including QR codes, near-field communications (NFC), SMS, mobile wallets, Bluetooth Smart, and dedicated iOS or Android apps.

The report predicts mobile tickets will be increasingly common for a range of uses, including airline boarding, public transport, stadium ticketing and major events.

In terms of technology used to authenticate tickets, the figures show 48% will rely on QR codes, NFC will be used on 30%, while SMS or other technologies will be used on 22%.

While NFC technology will have a compound annual growth rate of 100%, the established use of QR codes in many countries will see it remain the dominant mobile ticketing technology globally.


According to analyst Phil Sealy, one of the big drivers of mobile ticketing is the ability to bundle tickets with other value added services.

“Moving forward it will be the integration of added value services, both from a user and service provider point of view which will spur on additional market growth.

“Added value enablement is not limited to one singular technology type with QR codes, mobile wallets, NFC and dedicated apps all able to expand offerings and provide platforms from which added value can be enabled.

“It will be interesting to see how beacons and Bluetooth Smart are built into the mix of technologies as they are able to support payment, LBS and offers along and could be adapted to ticketing as well.”

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