Arizona-based National Basketball Association (NBA) team the Phoenix Suns are to offer fans access to mobile payments and NFC ticketing from within their mobile app, via a partnership with Ticketmaster, that will see the team move to mobile-only ticketing at its Talking Stick Resort Arena from the start of the 2019/20 season in October.
The Phoenix Suns are using Ticketmaster’s Presence platform and its recently launched SafeTix service for the move to mobile-only ticketing.
SafeTix supports NFC ticketing on both Android and iOS devices and also offers support for encrypted barcodes that automatically refresh on a fans’ mobile phone every few seconds.
The support for mobile payments is being added “to create a seamless digital experience,” the team said, enabling the new mobile ticketing service to be complemented by a mobile wallet “which will allow fans the chance to make payments for concessions, merchandise and parking, utilizing a variety of payment options like PayPal and Venmo, directly through their smartphones”.
The wallet “will allow for new in-venue experience enhancements such as express pickup and suite delivery of concessions and merchandise,” the Phoenix Suns added.
“The added functionality will also create opportunities to integrate other arena partners that allow them to extend exclusive special offers.”
“We saw 40-50% of tickets being put into Apple or Google Wallets last year,” Ticketmaster chief product officer Justin Burleigh told NFC World.
“It’s clear that people want something familiar — like the Starbucks’ reward or airline ticket. We’ve settled now on a combination of unique barcode — now being auto-refreshed in the SafeTix upgrade — and NFC which links into Apple and Google platforms.”
“The transition exclusively to mobile ticketing ensures that we are providing the safest, most secure and fan-friendly ticket experience, while also expediting access into the arena, so fans can get into their seats and in front of the action,” Phoenix Suns CEO Jason Rowley explained.