Mobile ticketing

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1. Mobile ticketing is the process whereby customers can order, pay for, obtain and validate tickets from any location and at any time using mobile phones or other mobile handsets. Mobile tickets reduce the production and distribution costs connected with traditional paper-based ticketing channels and increase customer convenience by providing new and simple ways to purchase tickets. Mobile ticketing is a prime example of horizontal telecommunication convergence.

2. Mobile ticketing is a method by which law enforcement agencies use in-car computers to create traffic citations in the field, then print a hard copy for the offender. The advantages of mobile ticketing include reduced paperwork time, reduced chance of tickets being made void by human error and immediate accessibility of citation information by other departments.[1]


[edit] Applications for Mobile Tickets

  • Mass transit.
  • Airline check-in.
  • Cinema ticketing.
  • Concert/Event ticketing.
  • Trade shows
  • Consumer voucher distribution

[edit] Advantage of Mobile Tickets

  • Reduced costs of ticket printing/mailing.
  • Improved consumer convenience.
  • Reduced infrastructure costs.
  • Increased revenue by increasing accessibility to tickets.

[edit] Using Mobile Tickets

[edit] Mobile Purchase

Over the past 10 years, e-commerce has exploded, with many consumers becoming increasingly comfortable with purchasing online. The next logical step for consumers who are looking for even more convenient methods of doing business is mobile purchase. This trend will be accelerated by the increased functionality of today's mobile devices.

Mobile Tickets can be purchased in a variety of ways including online, via text messaging or over the phone from a voice call, WAP page, or a secure mobile application. For repeated purchases such as daily train tickets, mobile applications or text messaging are good options. The drawbacks to text message purchasing is that either the vendor loses 40% of their revenue to the mobile operator, or any credit card purchase has to be achieved through a web page as the SMS has no security suitable for credit card entry, and very few ticket choices can be easily remembered and entered by SMS.

[edit] SMS Purchase

SMS purchase is usually achieved by sending an SMS message containing a short code (e.g. GV for a single adult ticket in Gothenburg, Sweden) to a service number. A return message is sent containing the mobile ticket. Different ticket types can be ordered with a different code (e.g. GU for a youth ticket or GN as a night tariff ticket in Gothenburg). The use of different ordering codes enables creating a variety of ticket types, either time- or distance based pricing and different zone systems.

In some cases, the price of the ticket can be added to the users mobile phone bill or debited from their pre-paid service using premium SMS billing, however, in most countries the tariff rates do not allow for the cost of a ticket to be billed to the phone. The main business limitation is that when premium SMS is used for billing, around 40% of the transaction value is retained by the mobile operator and sms aggregator, which is not viable when the ticket has a conventional profit margin. Other methods for billing include having a mobile wallet that allows the phone user to charge their credit card.

[edit] Online Purchase

Online purchase is still an option for mobile tickets, allowing the user to setup an account and choosing payment options etc.

[edit] Mobile Ticket Delivery

Delivery of tickets to mobile phones can be done in a variety of ways:

  • Text messaging (SMS) - visual inspection or OCR
  • Text messaging with WAP Push - visual inspection or OCR
  • Picture messaging (SMS, EMS, WAP Push and MMS) - usually uses a barcode
  • Dedicated Mobile application - which can store and render barcodes delivered via SMS, GPRS, Bluetooth, IRDA or RFID. Barcodes rendered on the device by a dedicated application have the advantage of being full screen without clutter, meaning faster and more successful scanning. A dedicated mobile application can also help the user to organise and sort their tickets better than when an SMS or MMS inbox is full of similar tickets, which is especially useful for transport tickets.
  • Device RFID - This is the method proposed under the Near Field Communication (NFC) specification but not yet in general use, except of Japanese Osaifu-Keitai.

Southend United Football Club is currently the only team in the UK to have a mobile ticketing facilitie offered to fans

Very few phones outside Japan have RFID/NFC tags and so this method of delivery is largely unsupported. Picture messaging is supported by almost all phones and is generally the delivery method of choice. It usually requires the sender to know the phone model in advance so that the picture is rendered at the correct resolution. Text-only messaging is supported by all mobile phones and is the simplest method of delivery.

[edit] Mobile Ticket Scanning

Visually validated mobile tickets do not require a scan device. Most forms of mobile tickets require some form of device to read the ticket from the user's device. Picture-based messages require a laser scanner (for 1-dimensional/linear barcodes) or camera based imager (for 2-dimensional barcodes) to photograph the message and decode it into a ticket ID. Text-based codes use OCR software. Near Field Communication devices scan using an RFID reader.

Each of the above methods has its specific benefits and drawbacks. Optically reading the display of a cell phone is heavily influenced by th quality of the display (resolution, size of pixels, reflections). RFID is only supported by a very few phones yet.

[edit] Mobile Ticket Redemption

Visually validated mobile tickets are validated without connection to a back office system. Other forms of mobile ticket systems contact a server that is able to verify the ticket and record that it has been used.

New systems that make use of encryption of the data inside the barcode enable off-line scanning and validation, which is especially important if users are purchasing tickets immediately prior to use, and the portable venue or on-vehicle scanning devices cannot always have a connection to the live ticket database. (Many transport ticketing systems, such as the London Oyster card travel system and the M-PhaTic system of the Swedish state railways SJ are designed so that scanners can operate as disconnected islands when connectivity to central systems is lost.)

[edit] Solutions

Liquid Barcodes Barcode. (SMS, MMS, WAP, NOKIA SMART, EMS). Airline Tickets / 2D Barcode Off-the shelf barcode scanner Remote or local server World wide delivery, secure, visual ID included, optimised 1D and 2D barcodes tailored to the mobile to ensure successful scanning - Norway
bCode Text-based SMS. Electronically (camera). Remote or local server. Secure, reliable, strong device support, dynamic user experience. Investment for scanner devices. Australia, United States
Eagle Eye Solutions Limited Text-based SMS as response to text in, text push, WAP Purchase. Customer types unique code into kiosk, PDA or Chip and Pin handset. Central server lookup utilising either internet or existing financial networks. Secure realtime redemption of ticket. Capture of significant customer data. Utilises existing Chip and Pin technology for ticket code capture and data transfer. Unique and multi use tickets available. Integration into Chip and Pin system. PDA or Kiosk rental costs. Worldwide.
Gavitec AG Barcode-based SMS, EMS or MMS. EXIO & MD-20 barcode scanners. Remote or local server. Secure, wide-reach, strong device support, integration with ticketing, CRM and access management solutions. Rental of or investment for scanner devices. Worldwide
Impact Mobile Barcode-based SMS w/WAPpush or MMS. Off-the shelf image scanner. Remote or local server. Secure. API to integrate to existing ticketing solutions No visual validation. Investment for scanner devices. Problem with several phone models. High telecom costs of MMS messages.
INA Finland Text-based SMS w/WAPpush. Visually / validators. INA secure server and/or local server. No investment for scanner devices, although implementation possible. Secure control code system for visual validation, optional

extra verification by phone. No settings or pre-registration needed, single SMS. Secure and easy.

Investment in scanner devices required if existing units cannot be used. Tampere, Finland. (service worldwide)
InMoDo (M-PhaTic) Text-based SMS. Imager/Camera-based scanners. Remote or local server as ticket code contains full information Secure,reliable,strong device support, range of scanners for different use-cases, including handheld units from well-known brands, no phone settings or pre-registration required, single SMS. Investment in scanner devices required if existing units cannot be used. Sweden, Europe
Masabi Dedicated mobile application, usually Java Platform, Micro Edition, barcode tickets delivered via encrypted SMS or GPRS Any 2D barcode scanner, including using other mobile phones as the inspection device Encrypted barcode contents enable off-line validation without synchronising ticket databases onto the local scanner, or on-line valiation. Secure ticket purchase and delivery from the mobile, without any sign-up process or passwords. More reliable barcode scanning because of full-screen rendering of the barcode. Barcodes delivered in a single SMS. Mobile application must be installed on phone by the user or the operator United Kingdom, Worldwide deployments
MBO Barcode-based SMS, MMS, WAP. Keyword Text-In/Push/WAP Purchase/Secure Interfaces Off the shelf image scanner / Visually Remote or local server Secure, live voucher, integrated marketing services, fraud prevention, API integration into existing systems Investment for scanner devices.
Mobimatics Barcode SMS M-Scan Validator Caching GPRS manifest downloads stored on local devices. Removal of human visual validation, total fraud prevention. Investment for scanner devices.
Mobiqa Barcode-based SMS, WAP Push or MMS. Off-the shelf barcode scanner. Remote or local server. Secure, wide-reach, visual ID included, optimised barcode tailored to the mobile to ensure successful scanning - Worldwide
NTT DoCoMo (Osaifu-Keitai) Online purchase, downloaded to RFID chip (Mobile FeliCa) RFID reader (PaSoRi) Online lookup Secure RFID system without visual scanning. Not usable for non-compliant phones. Credit card registration needed. Still often uses paper ticket for confirmation.
Plusdial Text-based SMS Visually / validators Strong device support. No investment for scanner devices. Patented control code system for visual validation. Secure.
ShowClix Ticketing LLC Delivers tickets via SMS text message Off-the shelf image scanner Remote server Rental of or investment for scanner devices - United States
Smartmachine 2D-Barcode-based SMS, WAP Push, MMS, 2D-Barcode via Mail to BlackBerry/PDA, NFC. CCD-camera based barcode scanner, attached to an access control reader or built into a kiosk. Online or local. Secure, strong device support, integration with ticketing, CRM and access management solutions. Rental of or investment for scanners needed. Worldwide
Timoco Barcode-based SMS, WAP Push or MMS. Off-the shelf barcode scanner, custom built barcode scanners (1D, 2D) Remote or local server. Secure, wide-reach, visual ID included. Need to know phone model to send appropriate code. Netherlands, Europe
Trinity Mobile Limited Barcode (SMS, MMS, WAP, NOKIA, EMS). Keyword Text-In/Push/WAP Purchase/Secure Interfaces Barcode reader, PDA or Kiosk Online lookup, local server or trickle fed PDA database. Wifi and GPRS Removal of human visual validation, unique one time use codes, total fraud prevention. Free software Investment for scanner devices.
TynTec Barcode. (SMS, MMS, WAP, NOKIA SMART, EMS). Airline Tickets / 2D Barcode Any 2D barcode scanner Online, remote or local. secure. worldwide availabiulity. highest privacy protection through end-to-end control over the entire GSM delivery path. strong device support. Investment for scanner devices. Worldwide
Wayin Solutions 1D and 2D Barcode-based message (SMS,MMS, EMS, WAP and EMAIL(Optional for Smartphones). Off-the shelf, Custom built barcode scanners (1D , 2D) Remote or Local Server Secure, live voucher, integrated marketing services, fraud prevention, API integration into existing systems, Rental of scanner units Available(South Africa Only) Investment for scanner devices. South Africa

[edit] See also

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