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GOING NFC - ticketing and digital member cards

Across the Premier League, NFL and other major sporting leagues Covid-19 has resulted in at least one major change – the world-wide adoption of contactless ticketing as the new normal. Finally saying farewell to season ticket booklets, traditional paper tickets & print @ home tickets. To be fair many teams had moved this way before the pandemic. But certainly, this has taken on new momentum as teams and venues look to re-open.





This article looks specifically at NFC Ticketing & Digital Member Cards and the advantages of having a contactless unique identifier (CUI) sitting in the Apple (IOS) and/or Google (Android) Wallet.


Let’s start by explaining what a “contactless unique identifier” is? It’s an NFC pass that is loaded to the mobile wallet (IOS or Android) that represents either the "ticket" or the “customer”. In the case of the member card the contactless pass is created and issued directly by the team using the Fortress Pass Manager application and can be linked directly to a ticketing, loyalty & payments account. A digital member card is issued once and is used for multiple services[1]. The key here is that the contactless pass represents the fan and through our platform is fully integrated into multiple services to create a compelling and revenue generating eco-system that supercharges fan engagement and delivers an unparalleled experience.

Figure 1: One Customer, One Pass, Multiple Services


The impact of the CUI approach and advantages for restarting sports:

  1. Easy to deploy to all fans (including season ticket holders, single game buyers, kids, corporate). Get to know all your fans better. Fast-track adoption of your digital member programs.

  2. Is not reliant on native Mobile App or Ticketing App. Deploy via email, loyalty portal or app.

  3. Easy to design passes and personalise.

  4. Unlimited design options with “auto updates” delivered real time – change the design to push show: “your pass has been activated with a ticket for Tuesday’s night game” here are your detail", “your pass has been updated with your new loyalty balance", “your pass has been upgraded to a gold membership”

  5. Pass can represent – all tickets for a season, multiple tickets (ticket stacking) for a single game or single ticket for multiple games.

  6. Auto Selection – the right pass will pop-up when placed on the contactless scanner.

  7. NFC Pass is secure and they cannot be copied. Transfer can be switched on or off.

  8. Pass is non-transferable (it relates to me) BUT services such as tickets, rewards, benefits can be shared via official digital channels – 100% control and data visibility.

  9. Push Live Notifications to mobile – unified cross platform notification service. Triggered by user action, location, status, date, and time.

  10. Push Live Promotions and Incentives – unified cross platform loyalty and engagement services. Triggered by user type, action, location, sku level purchase data, date and time.

  11. NFC Pass applications integrated into all major ticketing, point-of-sale, retail system, and of course our full range of contactless access scanners.

  12. Save money – both Apple and Google charge a fee (circa £1.50) for each contactless pass or ticket issued. The digital member card (NFC pass) will need to be issued only once and can be used for multiple tickets and services. Contrast this with an NFC ticket that is a single use pass. Saving teams $$$m per season in pass fees.


[1] Compared to an NFC Ticket which requires a new pass to be issued for each ticket (circa 100,000’s per season)

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