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Turkish football fans test m-ticketing

Ticketing has long been touted as a use case for mobile payments, and now direct carrier biller Onebip is testing that claim. The company recently partnered with Turkish wireless company Turkcell to offer Turkish Football Federation fans the ability to buy tickets to matches using Turkcell's Smart Ticket application, powered by the Onebip mobile payment service. More than 2,000 phone-toting football fans used the mobille payment service to purchase football match tickes.

Beginning in September, Onebip and Turkcell ran m-ticketing trials with the Turkish Football Federation for three international matches involving the Turkish national team. The service let football fans buy their tickets via SMS text message. The use of text messaging meant that fans with feature phones could use the service as well as those with smartphones.

To purchase a ticket the customer simply sent the message "BILET" to a special shortcode. Onebip charged the ticket price directly to consumers' monthly mobile phone bill and sent a code sent to the user's mobile. That code was activated at special m-ticketing gates set up at the stadium.

The m-ticketing trials gave football fans an even easier ticketing alternative than online purchase, since that method still requires fans to wait in line while their tickets print. Additionally, direct carrier billing gave fans without bank or credit cards a quick and easy way to purchase tickets.

"We're excited to be part of the first football m-ticketing project in Turkey and to work with the Turkish Football Federation and Turkcell on such an innovative mobile service for football fans in the country," said Onebip chief Massimiliano Silenzi. He said that all three of the mobile ticketing trials in Turkey ran smoothly for Turkcell and its customers. "We look forward to working on more projects such as this in the future with our partners," he said.

This isn't Turkcell's first foray into mobile payments. The company has been active in exploring ways to get subscribers paying with their mobile phones. It launched one of the first NFC-enabled mobile wallets nearly two years ago.

"Mobile technologies are changing our habits by making life so much easier," said Koray Ozturkler, chief corporate affairs officer for Turkcell. He said Turkcell will continue to employ smart ticketing for other stadium-based events, movie theatres, concerts and public transportation.

Turkcell is Turkey's largest wireless carrier. With more than 34 million subscribers, it enjoys more than 50 percent market share in Turkey.

Onebip is a part of Neomobile, a global carrier billing provider. Neomobile offers direct carrier billing services through more than 250 carriers in 70 countries worldwide.

For more on this topic, visit the direct carrier billing research center.

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