August 1, 2019

SafeTix to test Aussies’ willingness to abandon paper tickets

SafeTix to test Aussies’ willingness to abandon paper tickets

Ticketmaster’s new mobile-only SafeTix technology will arrive in Australia in 2020, with Melbourne being the major testing ground.

The first concert venues to use SafeTix will be the Forum and Palais Theatres, while the first sporting event will be at AFL games at Marvel Stadium as well as Perth Stadium.

Ticketmaster’s US-based chief product officer Justin Burleigh says that the company hasn’t got a specific date yet and working that out with the league.

“It’s a big change for people to move from paper tickets, so we won’t rush it.

“There’s an education process because not everyone is used to using their phone as a ticket.”

Like the UK’s Dice ticketing app which launched in Australia on August 1, SafeTix’s anti-scalper initiative is based on an encrypted barcode which changes every 15 seconds.

That means it can’t be screenshot or photographed by an unscrupulous reseller.

According to Burleigh, “What it means is that while you have that ticket, it is uniquely yours and cannot be copied.”

The tickets can still be transferred to a friend, but only if both have a Ticketmaster account.

Each time the ticket is reallocated, it will be tied to the new owner’s phone, which gives a list of how many hands it ultimately goes through, and their identity.

There are many reasons why SafeTix should have a rapid take-up by Australians.

The most obvious is that fans will be 100% certain of arriving at an event and not be refused entry.

The tickets have technology that will allow fans to enter a venue with a simple “tap and go” at the entrance.

According to Ticketmaster, SafeTix technology means that venues and promoters know the identity of each person coming in.

Aside from the safety aspect of this, there are also commercial considerations.

It allows the venue and promoter to “talk” directly, giving them information on venue features or merchandising offers, or upcoming shows, which they can engage with about after the show.

One pocket of resistance to paperless tickets could be from sports fans who like to collect the laminated club pass, which they current scan, as keepsakes.

Burleigh says Ticketmaster is already working with Apple and Google. The plan is to provide a digital version for ticketing and venue accessing, and a paper version for sentimental accumulation.

Ticketmaster plans to phase out paper tickets “over the next three to five years”.

A future way of ticketing and venue access is through facial ID, as ia currently used in some American airports.

Last year Ticketmaster announced an investment in facial recognition company Blink Identity, as well as the acquisition of Upgraded, a blockchain ticketing company, continuing its interest to identity-based ticketing.

SafeTix is about to be rolled out to 28 of the 32 NFL clubs in the US ahead of their season.

According to Ticketmaster, a high rate of 97% of fans entering NFL games in the 2018 season used its technology, totalling more than 8.3 million fans using the platform for 300 games.