I love going to the cinema in Hong Kong. Ranging from locally-produced, classically Hong Kong martial arts films like Ip Man, to critically-acclaimed Hollywood blockbusters like La La Land, there’s sure to be something to satisfy every moviegoer. Movies have long delighted crowds, bringing countless hours of enjoyment. We go to the movies to be entertained, to immerse ourselves in a story, to travel to other worlds entirely; we go to the movies, ultimately, to have fun. Yet, there are a few key issues that often diminish the experience, taking away from what should otherwise be an enjoyable experience.
Hong Kong, though renowned for its efficiency and excellence of service, is nonetheless a city of over seven million. Consequently, it is still notorious for and suffers from the inefficiency of long lines, and the occasional longer wait time. Cinemas are no exception. I’ve always wondered why ‘self serve’ ticket booths never quite live up to their promise, to allow customers to purchase tickets on the spot. As it turns out, there exists a fatal flaw that prevents the system from reaching greater heights of efficiency.
In order to promote their brand and the usage of credit cards in cinemas, credit card companies offer incentives and promotions that often change. This necessitates manual intervention, wherein cinema employees are required to physically handle the transaction, to enter the card issuer and type. This amounts to an increased transaction time that builds up and up, resulting in the bothersome queues that perhaps, in the past, were unavoidable.
Such inconveniences become inarguably superfluous when the tools we need to solve the problem are already available to us. Alongside our partners at Golden Dynamic, we’ve already been able to begin the process of pursuing our objective of making Hong Kong cinema a queueless and cashless environment.
The recent launch of the Emperor Cinema is a clear example of the transformative power of technology. A reimagination of the old Queen’s Theatre, a reinvention in the heart of Hong Kong, the Emperor Cinema is a multiplex facility with five separate theatres, conveniently located and easily accessible in the Central’s Entertainment Building. Offering not only a wide selection of the latest and greatest blockbuster hits, it offers something that we, as human beings, utterly crave— choice.
Tickets are available to be bought upon arrival at the ticket counter, as per usual, as well as at the self-serve kiosk; both of which are powered by Golden Dynamic and BBMSL Limited technology. The mPOS gateway that BBMSL provides can identify the card type and communicate with the ticketing system that can, in turn, automatically apply the relevant discount. At the self-serve kiosk, transactions only require a perfunctory eight seconds to complete. A marked improvement that will significantly reduce queue times, and ultimately better service.
The next problem that BBMSL aims to tackle is the inefficiency of snack acquisition. A tall, refreshing coke and popcorn being requisite hallmarks of the moviegoing experience, it’s imperative that improvement be made in such a vital area, as well.