Tonbridge Angels consider cashless future after digital ticketing revelation
The introduction of simplistic digital ticketing technology can facilitate a smooth transition to a fully functional cashless operation.
How we receive, spend and manage money has been revolutionised since the turn of the millennium. By using technology, it is now possible to make contactless payments via bank cards and phones.
This means many sports stadia are exploring the possibility of going cashless to make payments easier for supporters and reduce matchday queues. Truthfully, some fans are sceptical about a cashless future.
But Ian Clear, a director at National League South Club Tonbridge Angels, believes digital ticketing has helped change fans’ views on attending matches with no physical money.
Here, he explains why.
Based in Kent, Tonbridge Angels has been selling tickets via TicketCo’s website and mobile app since autumn 2020.
Supporters can instantly purchase tickets online and are sent QR codes that are scanned at turnstiles when they arrive at the ground.
Mr Clear says feedback received from supporters has encouraged the club to explore further digital innovation.
“The simplicity of TicketCo has made the idea of going cashless a lot easier,” he said. “Supporters and staff know the technology is simple, reliable and convenient.
“Our experience with TicketCo means we are much more likely to try and go cashless. When you take a smooth first step, you are much more likely to take another step in the right direction.”
TicketCo customers can use either their smartphone or tablet to scan QR codes at turnstiles.
Alternatively, tickets can be printed out so customers without access to a smartphone can still gain access. These measures mean digital ticket sales were extremely encouraging, even among older supporters.
Ian added: “It is worrying initially – traditional fans might not have the knowledge or technology to use the system. But through the season 80% of fans bought tickets via TicketCo.
“Not all supporters used their smartphone. Some fans printed tickets off and handed them at the gate. But the worries around so-called digitally excluded older fans not being able to attend games have just been unfounded.
“TicketCo is technology that you can use as it suits, and we have found that our supporters have been doing just that.”
The attention to detail offered by TicketCo Media Services also impressed Tonbridge Angels.
“My background is selling technology,” said Ian. “I know what good practice is and what a good, simple product is. TicketCo covers both bases.
“The level of support and thought for the customer is what sets TicketCo apart. Through our partnership, we have been able to talk to someone and have access to clear explanations.
“On the rare occasion we have an issue, senior TicketCo staff were on the phone straight away to solve it. The idea that you are on your own does not apply.”
Equally impressive to Tonbridge Angels was the price of getting the technology in place to operate TicketCo’s platform.
“There’s no need to buy expensive technology for your turnstiles,” Ian explained. “With another potential provider, we would have had to spend £3,000 on bespoke scanners.
“But with TicketCo we just had to download an app, so we bought a couple of cheap Android phones and simply used those. I can also handle everything on my iPad.”