Kifiya Starts to Automate Capital’s Stadium Ticketing System


Kifiya Financial Technology signed a five-year contract with the Ethiopian Football Federation




The Ethiopian Football Federation will launch in early May an e-ticketing service at the Addis Abeba Stadium to reduce the long waiting lines before football games. The technology will automate the manual ticketing and payment system.

Kifya Financial Technologies Plc, which signed a five-year-agreement with the Federation, has set up the system which the Federation will administer. The payment service provider will get 1.5pc of the entry fees that range from 10 Br to 200 Br. Consequently, sources indicate this will hike ticket prices.

The tickets can be bought at any of Kifiya’s agents, Lehulu centres and Kifiya shops. The tickets will have a barcode that can be scanned by any of the validator machines installed at the 12 entryways to the stadium. The ticket also has a blank space on the back that will be used for advertising, according to Esayas Tafesse, marketing director at the Federation.

The project for the e-ticketing service was first proposed in 2016 by the Federation. In the ensuing bid, when eight companies vied, Kifiya secured the deal in September 2017. For the past four months, it had been undertaking a pilot project at the Stadium.

Other service providers that took part in the bid were local and international firms such as Bellcash Technology Solutions Plc, Verge Technologies, Comessu Technologies, Four Points Technologies and Dehininet Begodana. Some of the local competitors forwarded complaints about the process.

“We were never notified of our gaps that led us to lose, which should have been communicated to us,” said Zewdu Assefa, senior director at Bellcash, the company behind the agent banking service, Hello Cash.

Esayas, however, asserts that they have prepared documents enumerating the reasons for the losing firms to come and collect.

The e-ticketing service has raised the spectre of a raise to entry fees, which has become controversial. Sports journalists such as Ashenafi Zelele question the legality of the Federation’s right over a stadium in Addis Abeba, which is under the city’s Football Federation.

“The Federation has had financial constraints so it would have to outsource the technology,” says Esayas, justifying the Federation’s case.

The clubs currently get 68pc of the match-day revenues from ticket sales, while the rest goes to the Federation.

Kifiya plans to develop the service further to other areas in a pilot project forthcoming at stadiums in Bahir Dar, Hawassa, Meqelle, and Sebeta. Feasibility and market strategy studies are in the pipeline to start the project.

The digital service provider, Kifiya, was established in 2010 and has over 1,000 employees. In 2013, it launched Lehulu, a public-private partnership between Ethio-telecom, Ethiopian Electric Power, Addis Abeba Water & Sewerage Authority and Ministry of Communications & Information Technology, and itself.

The Addis Abeba Stadium can hold up to 25,000 people on average. The game between the Addis Abeba clubs, Saint George F.C and Ethiopian Coffee on Monday, April 23, 2018, attracted 23,600 Ethiopian football fans.

Such a large number could prove challenging thus building the capacity with technology is crucial, according to a technology expert.

“Having a backup plan for the system and monitoring is essential,” he says. “Locally developed technologies may not be the state-of-the-art, but the country’s weak infrastructure and recurrent internet outages will pose a major setback.”



By YARED TSEGAYE
FORTUNE STAFF WRITER

Published on Apr 28,2018 [ Vol 18 ,No 939]


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