A former engineer has come up with an app for local football fans to secure match tickets.
BUYING football match tickets, especially for important matches like the quarter-finals, semi-finals and finals of the Malaysia Cup, Malaysia Super League and FA Cup is a nightmare for football fans.
Scenes of fans queuing for long hours at stadiums is a norm; some even camp the night before to secure tickets.
Faisal Karim, a former mechanical engineer at Perodua and HP who has experienced difficulty in getting tickets especially for his favourite team Kedah FA during final matches, has come out with something that has been around, but not used for buying local football match tickets — a dedicated app for the matches’ tickets.
In 2015, after working for three years, Faisal decided to chase his dream of becoming a technoprenuer and doing something close to his heart: football.
The Pokok Sena-born decided to develop a football ticketing app called Stubapp.
“Match tickets will only be sold at the stadium on the match day itself. This is because the tickets are made of paper, and people can duplicate them. So fans will not be able to get tickets in advance,” he says.
The sale of tickets on the day of the match itself minimises counterfeit ones.
“I queued for hours to get tickets for the 2014 quarter-final match between Kedah and Pahang. It was very tiring,” he adds.
With better Internet connection and the growing trend of booking movie and airline tickets online, Faisal says the time is right for the purchase of football match tickets online too.
“Stubapp was initially a web-based app before we developed the app version for people to get tickets while on the go.”
Faisal together with a co-founder and three development employees took three months to develop the Stubapp app.
The app is a game changer in the arena of football match ticketing.
“If the game is an interesting one or what people are looking for, the online tickets will sell easily as many people will not be keen to go to the stadium, especially during the hot weather, to secure the tickets,” says Faisal.
Faisal, who pursued his degree in Japan, says buying tickets online is a norm there — people can just pay at a convenience store if they do not want to use credit or debit cards.
Getting support for the app from football associations is challenging.
Faisal worked hard to seal deals with the teams to sell their match tickets via Stubapp.
To date, five football associations — Kuala Lumpur, Kedah, Terengganu, Perak and Kelantan — have agreed to sell their match tickets via the Stubapp platform.
“People can buy match tickets of these teams via Stubapp in advance.”
The RM500,000 aid from Cradle to commercialise the app has helped Faisal in promoting Stubapp, and he is raising crowdfunding money via PitchIn for technology development of the app.
Privatisation of teams like Terengganu, Johor Darul Ta’zim and Felda also help in new developments in ticket purchasing.
MAKING IT EASY
As the potential users of Stubapp come from all sorts of background, Faisal had to make sure that the app is user-friendly and the payment methods simple.
“Not all people have credit or debit cards, or perform online banking. Buyers can pay for their ticket purchase at 7 Eleven using the MOL Pay Cash system,” says Faisal.
Fifty per cent of Stubapp ticket sales come from the MOL Pay Cash system.
“Online tickets don’t have extra cost and there is no cost of paper,” says Faisal.
How do people enter the stadium with online tickets?
“We provide electronic ticket-scanning devices to football clubs that use Stubapp so that fans can show their e-tickets on their phone, and get them scanned and verified,” he says.
People who buy tickets through Stubapp are normally from 16 to 20 years old.
Faisal is bullish about the future of Stubapp based on the growing percentage of people buying tickets online.
In 2016, only five per cent of spectators bought tickets online, but the percentage grew to 15 last year.
“I foresee the percentage to be 50 per cent in the next four years,” he says.
“We’re also planning to introduce loyalty points for people who buy the tickets online.”