Paper tickets are going to stay

Why Paper Tickets Will Be With Us For Many Years To Come

“To support or not to support paper, that is the question.”

Imitating the famous quotes from Hamlet is rather cliché to start an article. But that indeed was the question we asked ourselves when we launched our blockchain-based ticketing business. Having heard the horror stories of people being denied entry to events or even a flight just because their phones died, we took the effort to analyze the pros of paper tickets and why it’s something that most industries are still holding on dearly to.

 

It’s easy to use

Compared to other medium of exchange, paper is still by far the easiest to use material that we could carry around while packed with information. Cash, for example, is still widely used today, although plastic credit/debit cards or NFC payment phones are quickly becoming the norm. Some of us might use credit or debit cards every day but we always have a backup of cash somewhere in our wallet or purse.

Smartphone tickets are a sensation for online ticketing companies but do you dare to tell them to give up on paper tickets altogether? What if a young teenage girl wants to watch Ariana Grande but mommy doesn’t think she’s ready for a smartphone. How about losing your phone a day before your favorite team’s game? How about flat battery? Or cracked screen? And I’m not gonna start talking about grandpa or grandma.

 

It’s fast

If there were a gunfight between a paper ticket and a smartphone ticket, who would have won? Paper ticket! Why? Because there’s no turning on the phone, unlocking, opening the app and finding the ticket. Just take that piece of paper from your pocket and bang! Just like a paper gunslinger.

 

It’s cheap

Nothing beats the low-key and low-price of paper. Paper tickets may be getting more expensive to print these days but it’s certainly no way near the price of a plastic card let alone a smartphone. Unless ticketing companies (or worse, customers) are willing to bear the cost of replacing old-fashioned paper tickets with another medium, we will continue to use them till kingdom come.

 

It’s very portable

In fact, a paper ticket is more portable than a ticket residing inside a smartphone app. A paper ticket in its digital format (like PDF) or hardcopy can easily be transferred from one hand to another. Which also makes it a double-edged sword.

 

It works with legacy ticketing systems

Someone might try to sell you a revolutionary ticketing system that is overloaded with the latest tech gadgets and jargons. But they come with a price and a steep learning curve. Either you get your customers to bear the costs and get your new vendor to work for you on-site, or you swallow the fees and put your team through months of training. Either way, it’s gonna take some effort. Worst is, your customers may not even know how to use it. Do make sure there’s a backup that you could fall back on and make sure it’s made of paper.

 

It could prevent ticket reselling

Seriously, it can. You don’t need animated QR code or some sort of ID document at the gate to block reselling. In fact, this new ticket technology we’re using also works with smartphone ticket or animated QR code, if you wish to. But bare minimum requirement is paper.

 

Paper still offers the best low-cost interface

Don’t get me wrong. I have nothing against cutting-edge technology like facial recognition, RFID or even smartphone apps. In fact, I’m always biased towards technology. But when it comes to business implementation, we have to weigh the cost and the benefits. Paper tickets still offer the best and cheapest interface for a ticket.

 

If you’d like to learn how to block ticket reselling by using paper tickets, please contact us for a live demo. 

Photo credit: Mattia Luigi Nappi

 

FAQ About Blockchain Tickets

20 Questions Ticketing Companies Should Ask When Considering Blockchain

Here are some frequently asked questions that event organizers, promoters or ticketing companies should ask their vendors when they are considering to adopt blockchain-based tickets.

 

  1. Could you explain what is blockchain in layman’s term?
  2. What’s the advantage of using blockchain with tickets?
  3. Do we need to buy any cryptocurrency for this blockchain ticketing system?
  4. Do our customers need to pay using cryptocurrency to buy blockchain tickets?
  5. What if my team doesn’t understand blockchain? How steep is the learning curve?
  6. Do my ticket buyers need to understand how to use blockchain tickets? Is it very different than conventional tickets?
  7. Must I throw away my current ticketing system and buy a new blockchain system?
  8. What about the ticket printout? Do we need to add any extra info on the ticket?
  9. What blockchain technology do you use? I heard there are a lot, so why you pick this one?
  10. What is a smart contract? And how do we use it with our tickets?
  11. How do we integrate this with our current box office ticketing system?
  12. Will it be slow to use a ticket on the blockchain? I heard blockchain is slow.
  13. I heard blockchain could help prevent ticket fraud? But how?
  14. Could your blockchain ticketing system stop people from reselling our tickets? If so, how?
  15. Could your blockchain ticketing system still support paper tickets?
  16. Do we need to hire a programmer to maintain our blockchain system? We don’t have budget for this.
  17. Could you show us a live demo of a blockchain ticketing system? We’re most eager to witness this revolutionary technology in action.
  18. How long does it take to start issuing blockchain tickets and start using them in our events? What is the lead time you need?
  19. Do you provide an on-site support team for your blockchain ticketing system? What if things so wrong?
  20. Last but not least, how much does it cost?

 

If you’d like to get detailed answers to all the FAQs above, please kindly contact us.

Blockchain Supports Paper Tickets

How Ticketing Companies Can Embrace Blockchain Tickets Without New Hardware or Software

Time and time again, blockchain is getting into the headlines with industries that it is penetrating and ticketing is one of those promising ones. However, the complexity of blockchain often makes us cringe let alone embracing it with the potential of jeopardizing somebody’s career. Here are some points to note when you’re keen to embrace this revolutionary technology in your daily ticketing business.

 

Blockchain is not cryptocurrency

Blockchain is not cryptocurrency

At the first onset, people tend to view blockchain and cryptocurrency as one and believe they are inseparable.  The fact is blockchain is only the underlining technology that empowers cryptocurrency like Bitcoin. Without blockchain, Bitcoin is basically impossible to work. However, the opposite is not true. Cryptocurrency does not fuel the blockchain technology. Think of blockchain as the Internet to power online banking websites. Without the Internet, online banking doesn’t work, but the Internet can still be used by millions of other websites and apps, same as blockchain.

 

Blockchain ticketing does not need Bitcoin

Blockchain does not need Bitcoin

Blockchain in ticketing does not necessarily need you to accept Bitcoin or Litecoin to let people pay for tickets. You don’t even need to issue your own cryptocurrency (also known as altcoin). You only need to accept cash or online payments for people to pay for your tickets. Period! But, it’s good if you could allow people to pay using Bitcoin, but then that might not reach that far end of the cryptocurrency usage spectrum yet as some people still wish to keep their Bitcoin as an investment, not as a currency. What if the price doubles tomorrow? So most prefer to keep their hands wrap around their precious cryptocurrencies instead of using it to buy a pizza.

 

Blockchain can be an extension of your ticketing system

Blockchain can be an extension of your ticketing system

Once you’re sold that blockchain is the future and you wish to embrace it, the next question is, how? How on earth do I get blockchain to work on my existing software? Must I buy new hardware or software to install? Well, not necessarily. Think of blockchain as a new online payment gateway that you need to integrate into your existing ticketing software via an API (Application Programming Interface) or SDK (Software Development Kit). Must I know all about the technical details on how blockchain works? Nope, you only need to know how to use blockchain like how to send and receive Bitcoin. But in this case, you send and receive ticket token – the digital version of a ticket residing inside the blockchain.

 

Blockchain can also come in a stand-alone ticketing system

Blockchain can also be a stand-alone system

If you currently don’t have a ticketing software, you could also embrace blockchain ticketing by partnering with software companies that are able to develop a blockchain-based ticketing system for you. Or you could work with those who already have a white-label version or a platform. You just need to plug and play (sort of).

 

Blockchain doesn’t only stay inside blockchain

Blockchain doesn't stay only inside blockchain

Some of us might think blockchain is another alien tech world with its own network and server, own programming language and even own Martian race to run it (famously known as miners). Not really. Blockchain would be useless if it must require us to buy new software or hardware just to use it. Blockchain today can be integrated into our current IT infrastructure. We only need to build a user-friendly user interface on our websites or apps. One popular interface is called the web3.js Javascript library.

 

Blockchain doesn’t have to be complicated to use

Blockchain doesn't have to be complicated

We do agree that blockchain can be quite complicated to use especially for non-techies. If you just take a glance at Etherscan website, you’ll only see jargons and numbers. It looks almost like a stock trading website (I’m assuming most of us don’t trade stocks). Thus, we’re constantly striving to make blockchain to be more layman for everybody. For instance, our new blockchain block explorer shall be a lot more intuitive and user-friendly to use than Etherscan and focuses only on reading tickets. Wait, you might ask, what is a block explorer? A block explorer is a website that lets you view the content or data inside a blockchain. It’s like an online banking website to view your banking transactions but for this, it allows you to view everyone’s transaction but anonymously. For instance, if I wish to send one Bitcoin to my friend named Pedro, I want to check if he received it. So, all I need to do is check my Bitcoin wallet (like my bank account number) and see if there’s a successful transaction indicating that my Bitcoin has arrived in Pedro’s Bitcoin wallet. Same goes to ticket token. You could check if you have successfully sent a ticket token to a friend. You could also check to see if a ticket is real or fake. Which leads to the next point.

 

Blockchain could also embrace old-fashioned paper tickets

Blockchain supports paper tickets

You don’t need a smartphone app to support blockchain tickets. Again, you can if you want to. But not necessarily. It’s like you don’t need online banking just to do banking. You can walk into a branch too! So, with that, blockchain can support legacy ticketing systems that only issue paper or PDF tickets. All we must do is ensure there’s a blockchain wallet (again like your bank account number) printed on the paper ticket to store or access the ticket tokens. But what about counterfeits? Well, that’s where the power of blockchain comes in handy. Someone could counterfeit a piece of paper but the ticket token inside the blockchain cannot be faked or forged. Otherwise, people would have created fake Bitcoins! Thus, each paper ticket can be authenticated by checking its ticket token which contains the event info, seat allocation and more.

 

Will blockchain change the ticketing world?

Will blockchain change the world?

We truly believe blockchain could dramatically change the landscape in the ticketing world and it’s a matter of time for some companies to take that “leap of faith” forward to give blockchain a chance. For the faint of heart, one advice is to take it one event at a time.

 

If you’d like to learn more about how to power your tickets with blockchain, please kindly contact us for a free demo.

Photo credit: Bev Sykes, Nez, Unsplash, Pixabay