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mobile ticketing

Contributor(s): Matthew Haughn

Mobile ticketing is the purchase of admission to events through a mobile device, including the delivery of digital tickets to a smartphone for use in place of traditional paper tickets.

Many event-organizing groups now choose to sell tickets via smartphone to improve convenience and accessibility, while also reducing infrastructure costs. For example, the National Football League (NFL) moved entirely to using mobile tickets in 2018 and no longer takes PDF or “Print at Home” tickets. Besides sporting events, other industries such as airlines, museums, tourist attractions and movie theaters are implementing mobile ticketing for their customers.

Mobile tickets can be purchased via apps and SMS messaging, along with more traditional avenues like over the phone or through a vendor website. Next, the user chooses ‘mobile delivery’ for the delivery method. After the user provides a cell number, phone model and mobile carrier, the vendor sends an e-ticket. Depending on the mobile device and purchasing avenue, the ticket can be delivered through a traditional text message, a specific mobile application, MMS or WAP push notifications. The provision of the model number helps to determine whether to text and send an image barcode or alphanumeric code that is saved by the user as their digital ticket. The user then presents this message at the events admission where it is scanned, the record of the purchase is confirmed and the user is allowed access.

This was last updated in August 2018

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