Mobile ticketing will slowly lay the foundation for mobile payments

The airline IT company SITA and the trade publication Airline Business report that 80 percent of roughly 200 surveyed airlines plan to offer mobile boarding passes through their own apps by 2016, up from just 53 percent today, as the travel site Skift noted this morning. And 62 percent of airlines around the world are expected to use mobile boarding passes by 2016, up from the current 21 percent.

That’s very good news for mobile payments overall because ticketing — like coupons and loyalty programs — will encourage consumers to use their phones at the point of sale or ticket counter. Like I’ve written before, mobile payments in Japan exploded after Tokyo’s massive train system integrated a single system. Mobile payments in the U.S. and nearly every market still face some big challenges, and the multiple competing systems will shackle uptake until just a couple of winners emerge. But widespread support from major airlines will help lay the foundation around the world.