Mobile is killing cash and its next victim is going to be the ticketing industry. Shane Leahy, CEO of Tola Mobileexplains how this will usher in the cashless society
In the UK, 62% of all payments in 2006 were made using cash. Fast forward 10 years and the proportion had fallen to just 40%, with predictions suggesting cash will be used for just 21% of payments by 2026, according to UK Finance.
Ticketing can range from a bus or parking ticket, to a concert or plane ticket. It is a crucial element in the customer journey for a wide variety of industries including leisure, transport and entertainment, which have all had to evolve payment processes for the growth and adoption of digital and mobile. Public transport, one of the most common industries to issue tickets and cash payments has seen a dramatic decline, with train ticket mobile payments being four times higher than cash payments in 2017, according to data shared from the Rail Delivery Group.
Mobile tickets are set to account for more than one in two ticket transactions on digital platforms by 2019, and with the decline of cash payments continuing to fall, the ticketing industry has had to significantly change the way it appeals to its customers and make payments quick, convenient and very accessible.
For merchants within the ticketing industry who are looking to strengthen their presence and streamline their ticketing processes, mobile payment services are a clear winner. Not only does the integration offer value-added services to benefit merchants and appeal to a wider range of customer demographics, but it also brings a plethora of digital innovations and opportunities.
Leading the way in the adoption of m-ticketing, the public transport sector has seen benefits range from 75% faster boarding times and a significant decrease in the expense that is associated with cash handling. Other applications such as festival or theatre tickets could see a rise in pre-booked tickets and shorter queue times on entrance.
It’s hard to believe that contactless payments were first introduced to the UK in 2007, with adoption only really coming into play over the past few years now that mobile payments have been established. Mobile payments present a real opportunity for ticketing merchants to step away from the standard cash payments we all know, and offer their customers a chance to explore a range of new services and payment methods within a cashless society.
The road to cashless
The value of non-cash payments in the UK will reach £1.44trillion by 2026 according to new research from Paul Hastings, a 26% increase on 2016’s figure of £1.14trillion. With this, it is essential that merchants who are yet to adopt mobile payment services into their business structure, are aware of this shift in society and understand the benefits it can bring.
A streamlined payment process, appealing to a wider range of customers and a reduction in operating costs are just some of the advantages merchants can look to benefit from when adopting a mobile payment structure. Possibly the most important factor on this road to a cashless world is the ever growing customer demand that faces the ticketing industry.
Mobile payments give merchants the ability to offer customers a simple but attractive payment experience, especially if they are offered a variety of choices including direct carrier billing, debit card or Apple Pay, that will subsequently lead to more purchases and new customer interest. By breaking down the final barriers towards a more cashless society, merchants can produce a seamless and efficient experience that will result in further consumer empowerment and uptake in adoption.
It is clear that customers are fully embracing a cashless society throughout a variety of industries for its convenience and ease of use, and if merchants within the ticketing industry want to continue to compete for custom they must ensure a seamless payment process for its customers.
The future for mobile payments is looking to be a bright one. As the economy continues to shift and become a more cashless society, and the adoption of mobile payments continues to grow faster than anyone could have ever imagined, the days of scavenging for loose change to pay for a parking ticket might soon be over.
Shane Leahy is CEO of Tola Mobile