This is the announcement by the COO of AVM Group at the conference on “Digitalization of Mobility in Venice – Enabling Technologies for Automated Fare Collection” organized by Club Italia in Venice on May 8th and 9th, 2023.
The collaboration with the Venetian Mobility Company has led to a new and innovative ticketing system, Chat&Go®. Citizens, commuters and visitors will be able to purchase an urban transport ticket of the Venice municipality (buses and ferries) with a few simple clicks via WhatsApp, without the need to download and register to new applications.
Currently, in the messaging app sector, WhatsApp plays a dominant role and is driving the progressive transition of communication from personal – between family members and friends – to corporate. The so-called WhatsApp APIs, recently introduced, allow the interaction between companies and customers, which is therefore pioneering.
With a market penetration rate approaching 90% in Italy (89.1% in 2022. Source: Statista), WhatsApp represents a privileged communication channel for companies, also considering the incredible message opening rate which reaches 98% (Source: AiSensy). Combining this commercial strength with the new integration capabilities of the WhatsApp platform, the ticketing system Chat&Go® is the result of an early stage opportunity seized by OpenMove together with AVM.
Companies and users have never been so close, being able to interact within a single communication environment. In particular, in the case of Chat&Go®, this interaction begins and ends in a few simple steps with the delivery of the ticket. WhatsApp, given its immediacy, is therefore a more powerful tool than an e-mail, being used on a daily basis by users, even by those less tech savvy.
But how does it work in detail?
It is a real-time and in push interaction which takes few simple steps to complete the purchase flow of the ticket:
- By framing the QR Code placed at the stops of the urban transport service or, alternatively, by saving the number on your smartphone, a dedicated WhatsApp channel will open;
- Simply start the conversation to receive a link that will lead to the web app;
- Once you have chosen the desired ticket, you can perform the purchase with credit or debit card, Google Pay and Apple Pay;
- You will receive your ticket directly on WhatsApp, within the initial chat.
At present, tickets for the urban network are available for purchase through WhatsApp. However, throughout 2023 and 2024, the solution Chat&Go® will extend to tickets for the suburban network and those currently loadable on the Venezia Unica card. The ticketing system Chat&Go®, consequently, is a true example of a smart solution which fits into a multi-channel context.
The solution takes advantage of the ABT (Account-Based Ticketing) platform and logic of OpenMove: in this way you will always be certain of having your ticket saved on the cloud and within easy reach on any device. If, for some unfortunate event, your mobile runs out of battery after a long day spent between the Venetian streets, it will always be possible to recover your ticket by communicating, for example, your phone number to the bus inspector. The ticket will be recovered in a simple and immediate way!
Chat&Go®, in the users’ pockets, fits into the OpenMove project suite, contributing to the pursuit of the company mission, namely to make people free to move when and how they prefer, facilitating access to public and shared mobility.