Ecebs, an East Kilbride-based smart card technology company, has announced a deal with Payzone, one of the UK’s largest independent network of in-store payment processing terminals, whereby smart transport tickets could be on sale to the public in local stores.
Ecebs ‘Remote Ticket Download’ software could be available in all 20,000 Payzone outlets across the UK, enabling Payzone to sell commercial smart tickets to the public in conjunction with a number of transport authorities across the UK. So, rather than having to risk a long queue at the station with Monday train due any minute, the public will be able to buy travel tickets online and collect them via smart cards at any retail outlet with a Payzone terminal. They will also be able to use those terminals to top up their pay-as-you-go travel cards.
Using the ITSO standard transport smart card technology
Russell McCullagh, Managing Director of Ecebs went as far as to say, “This deal will change public travel habits by opening up a widespread localised network of access points to enable ticket collection and top up."
“We are strong advocates of open standards and believe this approach makes our smart technology solutions scalable and cost effective to deploy.”
Ecebs’ Remote Ticket Download solution is certified by ITSO, the body which sets the UK technical standard for interoperable smart ticketing. Currently ITSO transport-related smart cards are linked to physical terminals such as gates or payment machines at stations that require physical upgrades and ITSO certification which is costly.
The solution utilises the idea of cloud technology, by creating software that can be remotely added to any online terminal, enabling ITSO travel tickets to be delivered anywhere in the UK without the need to replace or add new terminals. Customers can benefit from easy access to transport tickets as Payzone terminals are typically located at convenience stores, newsagents and off-licences.
Ecebs expect 'massive' expansion in use of smart media for everyday activities
Ecebs state that 1.5 billion smart transport transactions will take place every year by 2014 with huge growth in new commercial ticketing schemes. Ecebs’ Remote Ticket Download technology will form the future of transport ticketing in the UK as the massive expansion in the use of smart media for everyday activities continues.
The company claims there are as many as 35 different smartcard travel schemes in the UK covering transport authorities across the country and the Payzone/Ecebs partnership will support multi-modal ticketing, enabling commuters who use more than one form of public transport to quickly download all their tickets to their smart card at convenient locations when it suits them.
First live service in West Midlands
The process of installing the Ecebs technology is expected to take 18 months to complete, with the transport authority to be set up with a live service said to be Centro in the West Midlands.
Gary Jennison, Managing Director at Payzone, said: “We are hugely excited by the prospect of integrating transport solutions into our terminals across the country. Soon customers will be able to top up their travel smart card, pay their electricity bill and top up their mobile phone all at the same store. Smart technology makes this process easy and accessible, and is the future of transport ticketing for us all.”