In a bid to enhance revenue accountability, Super League of Malawi (Sulom) and sponsors TNM plc are this season set to introduce e-ticketing for Super League matches using Mpamba mobile money service.
TNM plc public relations and sponsorship manager Limbani Nsapato said the development follows successful trials for the past two seasons in selected TNM Super League games which saw the initiative passing the requisite tests.
In the pilot phase to buy match tickets using Mpamba, football fans were required to be registered on the mobile money service. They were then directed to follow the usual prompts and select payment to Sulom’s code. The system then generated an SMS, which they took to the match to redeem their tickets.
Nsapato could not divulge more information on the yet-to-be-launched new e-ticketing system, saying it was still under design.
“That initiative was done as a pilot. The response was very good and, in some cases, overwhelming.
“Some critical lessons were learnt. Such lessons will inform how the full implementation of Mpamba e-ticketing solution for Super League matches will be executed,” he said.
Sulom president Tiya Somba Banda, who was then treasurer, said the Mpamba e-ticketing used in matches between Silver Strikers and Nyasa Big Bullets as well as Be Forward Wanderers and Silver was ground-breaking.
“We saw a good response from the public considering that the advance ticket selling through Mpamba was at a discount. It also helped the teams in logistics as they got their revenue-share before the game,” he said.
However, Somba Banda said the only setback was lack of capacity due to few validation machines at the stadium.
“This delayed entry into the stadium,” he said.
Nevertheless, the Sulom president is optimistic that the new system would help improve efficiency in match revenue management.
“The advance ticketing through Mpamba will enable clubs to easily cushion their budgets ahead of a fixture, as they might advance their share to cater for transport and accommodation etc. Gate entry turnaround time at the stadiums will also improve as fans will not be queuing waiting for cashiers to count money and the like,” said Somba Banda.
Meanwhile, Football Association of Malawi (FAM) has also announced plans to adopt electronic ticketing.
Last month, the local football governing body used e-ticketing during Ecobank Chifundo Charity Shield held at Kamuzu Stadium in Blantyre.
FAM marketing and commercial director Limbani Matola said they plan to extend the system to all matches under the FA.
“We used e-tickets supplied by Nitel during the Ecobank Charity Shield and it was successful. There was order and sanity in all the four matches; there was zero record of fraud and fake tickets which ensured maximum revenue.
“We don’t intend to abandon this winning horse, but rather consolidate and strengthen it as we look at scaling up the application to cover more matches and competitions across the country,” he said.
Normally, match venues are supposed to have E-ticket turnstiles, but so far, no venue in the country has such gadgets.
Stadium owners, including government, which owns Kamuzu, Mzuzu, Civo and Bingu National stadiums; Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM), which owns Silver Stadium, have failed to install E-ticketing machines at their facilities despite several promises.