- The number of contactless ticketing users will nearly triple to 468 million by 2023 from 180 million this year, per a new forecast from Juniper Research. The firm predicts that one in four digital tickets purchased will be contactless in 2023.
- Public transportation is expected to drive most of the growth in contactless ticketing, particularly in cities. Subway and bus ticketing will make up 86% of all contactless ticketing in 2023, per Juniper.
- However, contactless ticketing for live events and wearable ticketing will continue to struggle to gain adoption, Juniper predicts. Contactless tickets for events will reach 800 million by 2023 to make up 6.5% of all digital event tickets. Wearable ticketing transactions will account for less than 5% of total digital ticketing by that year because devices like hybrid smartwatches aren't sophisticated enough to handle contactless ticketing, per Juniper.
Mobile ticketing that relies on the scanning of QR codes is likely to remain more popular for live events than contactless ticketing methods that use a mobile device's near-field communications (NFC) chip, Juniper forecasts. "With far higher compatibility with devices and lower installation costs than with contactless, QR-code mobile app ticketing will dominate events ticketing," research author Nick Maynard said in the study. Event tickets on mobile apps, however, will allow for targeted advertising to fans along with anti-fraud measures, he said.
A key advantage of digital ticketing is a marketing strategy described by PayPal's Braintree as "contextual commerce." Brands can cross-sell products and services based on what consumers do with their smartphones. That means sports teams can gain greater insights into the individualized preferences of digital customers than from paper ticket holders.
Last year, ticketing giant Ticketmaster installed a mobile system, a QR-code scanning service called Presence, at every National Football League stadium in the U.S.. This demonstrates that mobile ticketing is growing quickly in adoption among both consumers and brands. Mobile ticketing for sports will surge 64% by 2023, according to a separate Juniper forecast.
For transit, contactless ticketing can help major systems save the costs of printing and distributing plastic stored-value transit cards while cutting back on fraud, pointing to why transportation will be the biggest part of the surging contactless ticketing market. Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS) in urban areas will largely drive consumer adoption of mobile ticketing with 60% of all mobile ticket users using subway and rail ticketing by 2023, Juniper forecast.