Case Study

Digital ticketing? It’s simpler than you think

Argentina’s FIFA World Cup qualifier and, inset, Rafa Jimenez

Featured Image Credit: SECUTIX

Argentina’s FIFA World Cup qualifier and, inset, Rafa Jimenez

Featured Image Credit: SECUTIX

Rafa Jimenez, Vice-President of Product at SECUTIX, describes how blockchain-based ticketing is already changing the live events world for the better…

Argentina digital ticketHistory was made last year when fans attending the FIFA U20 World Cup in Argentina gained entry to matches via a blockchain-secured digital ticket that also gave them a digital souvenir keepsake for life.

Fans accessed their secure ticket and souvenir from a controlled digital wallet thanks to a pioneering collaboration between the Argentinian Football Association (AFA) and partners FanTix and SECUTIX. Hundreds of tickets were delivered safely and securely for the youth tournament, and this was expanded to thousands recently for the World champions’ FIFA World Cup qualifier against local rivals Uruguay in November.

Digital tix solve problems and create opportunities

Words like “blockchain”, “crypto” and “NFT” can put people on edge. Even those working in the techy world of ticketing can be suspicious of this seemingly niche world that is hard to understand. This, according to SECUTIX’s Rafa Jimenez, is in part because of the polarising debate surrounding blockchain and the digital economy. Jimenez, the company’s Vice-President of Product, has a more moderate view – blockchain will neither save the world nor break it, but it is already changing the world. Three of the four biggest sporting events in the world in 2023, each of whom are partnered with SECUTIX, utilised the company’s blockchain-based digital tickets during the year.

“SECUTIX has already delivered 21 million secure digital tickets,” Jimenez says.

These digital tickets are changing the world for the better by not just solving a whole heap of problems but also creating compelling and lucrative new opportunities. In the world of ticketing and events, for example, truly digital tickets offer greater security, new revenue streams and a better service for ticket-buyers.

An improvement on digitised tickets

First up, let’s define what we mean by digital tickets. You may well think we’ve had digital tickets for years. This is wrong.

“What we have had for years are digitised representations of physical tickets, not digital tickets,” Jimenez says. A ticket sent to you by email or a QR code is simply a physical ticket – just like the bit of paper you received at the cinema back in the day – but distributed by digital means. These tickets do not solve many of the problems associated with traditional physical tickets, most notably the possibility of counterfeit tickets being created.

What is SECUTIX’s digital ticket?

The digital ticket from SECUTIX’s TIXNGO service, as outlined above in the example from Argentina, enables entry to the event and subsequently a souvenir ticket to keep. It is stored in a secure digital wallet on the ticket-holder’s phone. Users do not need to be crypto geeks or indeed have any knowledge of the technicalities. They simply add the wallet – which will most likely bear the familiar name of the event – to their phone and the purchased tickets will appear in there.

How digital benefits consumers

For consumers, they are safe in the knowledge that they have their ticket as they can see it on their phone. They don’t need to worry about losing an email that has their digitised ticket attached. They also don’t need to worry that someone else has duplicated their QR code and is sat in their seat. If they wish to sell the ticket they can do so safely and securely according to the organiser’s rules. Similarly, those buying via resale have the same assurance.

The souvenir ticket is in part a nod to our historic attachment to memorabilia. It offers the holder a unique piece of static or animated artwork which they can share via social media or simply keep for sentimental value. “They could also benefit from being able to sell the souvenir should the organiser allow that via the wallet,” Jimenez adds.

The souvenir has a further purpose, however, beyond the sentimental or aesthetic. It can be used as an entry into what is effectively a special club, with benefits for both ticket holder and event organiser. “For example, a forward-thinking event organiser may offer a special prize to anyone who has a souvenir ticket at the following year’s game or event,” Jimenez adds.

How digital benefits event organisers

For the event organiser, the blockchain-based ticket gives them, for the first time, a complete inventory of who exactly is attending their events and owns their tickets. They know their names and can collect other valuable information. If they want to share special offers or on-sale reminders for the following year, they can do this via push notifications.

If the souvenir ticket holder does sell their match or souvenir ticket, the event organiser not only can track that sale with 100% accuracy, they can also take a cut, opening a new revenue stream for them rather than resale sites.

The event organiser can also be assured that they can bring to end the possibility of visitors arriving with fake tickets. This situation can be detrimental to the event’s reputation and relationship with fans and also lead to costs relating to security and delays to play.

The controlled digital wallet gives fans piece of mind as they have a secure place to keep their ticket and souvenir without fear of an FTX-type catastrophe.

“There’s a lot of benefits here for both ticket-buyers and event organisers,” Jimenez says. “Ultimately the relationship between the two can become stronger than ever as the layers between the two are stripped away. We no longer need the middle men – such as suppliers and providers – but instead see that bond between fans and the events they love.”

SECUTIX was a sponsor of most recent TheTicketingBusiness Forum, the world’s No.1 B2B ticketing business meeting. Click here to find out more about this year’s event, which will take place April 16-17 in Manchester. Earlybird dicount is available until February 16…