Digital revolution offers more dynamic ways of handling ticketing, while mobile phones with intelligent applications are substituting traditional rigid paper or smart card solutions and vending machines.

Public transport authorities’ and companies’ (PTAs’) challenge is to find a way to adjust to different ways of traveling, ranging from electric scooters to city bikes, car sharing and alike. Further, emerging private companies known as MaaS (Mobility as a Service) providers offer services combining public transport to both traditional and new private mobility services. This pressure forces PTAs to open up their ticketing interfaces to new players – which is also a new opportunity to telecom operators! As a neutral and independent party between public transport organizations and telecoms, Pludial is the natural and trustworthy cooperation partner for both.

Telecom operators have a big customer base, most of whom are also public transport users. On the other hand, mobile operators also have their own applications, which are currently mostly used by end users to effortlessly manage their subscriptions or other telecom operator services.

Combining these two observations, existing applications could be made personal, digital travel and communication machines, offering initially the highest volume public transport single tickets, and possibly then even evolving to include payments for use of city bikes, electric scooters, car parking etc. – or even offering packages of the above sold via monthly paid subscriptions, containing a certain number of each product.

Such telecom application solutions have not seen the light of day yet, mostly because no technical platform has really provided all the required functionality to satisfy PTAs’ needs regarding electronic ticketing. With its nearly 20-year experience in mobile ticketing, Plusdial has unbeatable track record and the technical platform to do just this: We connect to PTA’s systems to provide them with electronic ticket creation and functions like ticket inspection and automatic reporting support, and a user interface to service management and possible helpdesk personnel. In a similar fashion, we provide telcos with our experience to implement the operator specific APIs and protocols to connect to mobile operators’ infrastructure for receiving ticket orders from and for delivering tickets to the applications, as well as for handling end customer billing using operators’ billing systems. The solution can even be based on Premium SMS messaging and billing for those customers who do not yet have smartphones or willingness to use applications for any other reasons.

The vision is enticing: Mobile operator customers would use their mobile operator applications daily to buy tickets for public transport (or other mobility services like city bikes, electric scooters, car sharing, taxis etc.) Customers could even choose themselves ’Mobility as a Service’ -package including certain numbers of tickets for public transport and rights for different rental options, that would work like the existing packages for different telecom communication services including data, voice, SMS etc. Thus, telecoms could benefit from the disruption in the market instead of risking losing e.g. mobile payment customers.

The average revenue per user (ARPU) of these kinds of traveling subscriptions would be around 100€ per month, so they would make an excellent new digital service for mobile phone users and business opportunity for teleoperators.