NFC playing catch-up to QR codes, SMS
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NFC playing catch-up to QR codes, SMS

ABI Research ( has forecast that over 34 billion tickets will be delivered to mobile devices over the next five years. The combined number takes into consideration the multiple technologies used to present a mobile ticket at time of authentication, including QR codes, NFC, SMS, mobile wallets, Bluetooth Smart, and dedicated apps.

In terms of the tickets delivered over the 2014 to 2019 time frame, QR codes are forecast to make up 48% of all tickets delivered, NFC with 30% and SMS and others making up the remaining 22%, according to the research group. Although NFC is the technology forecast to have the fastest growth with a CAGR [compound annual growth rate] in excess of 100% over the same time frame, it is QR codes which are forecast to account for the majority of mobile tickets delivered having had a substantial head start in the market.

QR mobile ticketing has already established itself with companies like Masabi at the forefront of QR code ticketing deliveries. The technology is now established within mobile ticketing applications such as airline boarding, train and stadia and events use cases.

The mobile ticketing market is a good example of a market landscape which has embraced multiple technology types. The technology mix has brought the market where it is today and now those active vendors are placing emphasis on the enablement of added value services to provide additional solution attraction and benefit.

"Moving forward it will be the integration of added value services, both from a user and service provider point of view which will spur on additional market growth," ABI Research analyst Phil Sealy says. "Added value enablement is not limited to one singular technology type with QR codes, mobile wallets, NFC and dedicated apps all able to expand offerings and provide platforms from which added value can be enabled. It will be interesting to see how beacons and Bluetooth Smart are built into the mix of technologies as they are able to support payment, LBS and offers along and could be adapted to ticketing as well."

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