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Is Online Ticketing Safe?

Online ticketing in South Africa is a growing industry as more and more people, across the generational divide, move towards purchasing tickets via the web. But what are online ticketing companies doing to ensure consumers are protected from online fraud? By Noleen Hepburn.

The use of mobile technology, using your cellphone or tablet, to purchase tickets to music, theatre or cultural events is booming and several mobile sites have been developed to make it easier for consumers to transact in this way. However, with the ease of purchasing tickets online, ticketing companies are stepping up their security measures to ensure that consumers are protected and not taken advantage of by unscrupulous ‘ticket’ sellers.

“Trust is the number one factor for customers when buying tickets online,” says Christy Turner, Co-Founder of Webtickets, the market leader in integrated online ticketing solutions in South Africa. “Tickets to specific events can be pricey and event-goers want to know that they are dealing with a reliable and trustworthy company when making their purchase.”

Some of the measures being introduced to alleviate ticket fraud include requiring event-goers to pre-register for larger events. Following internationally aligned ticketing practices, large events will require visitors to pre-register online using their ID numbers and they will be limited to purchasing only a specific number of tickets to prevent ticket scalping, where dishonest vendors buy tickets en masse and sell them onto event-goers at exorbitant prices.

Another measure that has been introduced is a secure way of transferring your tickets to another interested party. If you’ve purchased tickets through an official and trusted ticketing agency, you’ll be able to sell your ticket on to another person in a safe way. “At Webtickets, we’ve introduced an easy 5-step Ticket Transfer process to allow you to safely and securely sell your ticket to a new buyer. Research shows that one in ten people have been victims of an online ticket scam, so it is very important to ensure that you have all the information available before you transfer money to someone for tickets that might not even exist,” warns Turner.

Ticketing security can also work the other way around. “Several companies use a biometrics system that is integrated into their existing ticketing scheme to control access to their sites or venues. In this way, they can be sure of who is gaining access from an internal perspective and manage security more effectively.

“We are in the process of working in close collaboration with some of South Africa’s top tourism sites such as the Robben Island Museum, to introduce biometrics into their ticketing system. Once implemented, fingerprint access will only allow entry to the premises to official employees and approved contractors. This type of biometric access control system has been used for some time at world-class sites, such as Walt Disney World in the USA,” explains Turner.

For more information visit: www.webtickets.co.za

About the Author: Noleen Hepburn is a communications strategist at Voice Factory Communication. www.voicefactory.co.za