Ticketmaster to roll out NFC ticketing for iPhones and Apple Watches ‘later this year’

Phone and nfc ticket reader
TOUT BUSTING: Ticketmaster’s SafeTix NFC digital ticket service aims to cut fraud and enable legitimate ticket transfer

Ticketmaster customers will be able to add contactless tickets to Apple Wallet later this year, enabling their tickets to be automatically selected via NFC when they hold their iPhone or Apple Watch near a ticket reader.

Support for NFC mobile ticketing forms part of SafeTix, a new Ticketmaster service that the company said “leverages new technology to give event owners control over their tickets by tying a unique, identifiable digital ticket to each fan’s mobile phone through an encrypted barcode that automatically refreshes every few seconds”.

“The tickets also include NFC technology that will allow fans to enter venues through a simple ‘tap and go’ experience at venue entrances,” it added.

“SafeTix will be used across NFL stadiums for the 2019 season and for a variety of touring artists.”

Ticketmaster said the service will also be rolled out at additional venues equipped with its existing Ticketmaster Presence NFC platform.

NFC ticketing is becoming increasingly popular at event venues. Los Angeles Football Club and FC Bayern Munich both introduced similar systems at their home grounds late last year.

The auto-refreshing encrypted barcodes that form part of SafeTix are designed to reduce fraudulent ticketing, improve communication with genuine ticket holders and make it easier for customers to transfer tickets legitimately, Ticketmaster said.

Ticket transfer

Customers will be able to legitimately sell or transfer tickets to another person’s mobile phone number or email address with a new digital ticket tied to the recipient’s account and phone, showing who has owned the ticket and when.

The improved chain of visibility will also enable event owners to communicate directly with event attendees — including providing venue or event-specific instructions or special offers on site.

“Because a new ticket is issued every time there’s a transfer or sale, event owners have the ability to develop a unique relationship with each fan, leading to in-venue personalization and future communication while increasing their known fanbase,” said Ticketmaster’s chief product officer for North America Justin Burleigh.

“SafeTix will allow fans to arrive at a show or game with confidence that their tickets are always 100% authentic and will dramatically reduce the amount of ticket fraud event owners are dealing with on event day.”