ACT, a Fujitsu company, has signed a five-year deal with bus operator, trentbarton, to supply an Account Based Ticketing (ABT) solution through an intuitive barcode app for smartphones.
For many years, trentbarton has offered smart ticketing via its popular mango card, but the operator wanted to further increase convenience for customers by enabling them to use their smartphones to access best value fares.
Tom Morgan, Commercial Director at trentbarton said, “We were one of the first operators to introduce smart ticketing. Offering ABT via a barcode app is an ideal way for us to improve the ticketing experience further for customers – they can use their own phone and we save on the cost and manual distribution of smart cards.
We chose ACT’s solution because it offered the most flexibility in terms of adding new travel products and payment tokens and offered the ability to deploy quickly, under our own brand, through their Actora cloud platform.”
Convenient, flexible and easy to use, ABT puts customer needs first – both in terms of getting the best value fare and the ability to avoid using multi-user touchpoints in the ticketing process. Using barcodes as the travel token means customers just ‘scan on’ and ‘scan off’ by presenting their personalised barcode, it couldn’t be simpler.
Speaking about the success of the pilot, Mark Greasley, Group Projects Director at trentbarton said, “Speed of deployment and the simplicity of integrating with our established Ticketer infrastructure was really important for us. The pilot has been running for two months and we are now looking forward to offering ABT with Barcodes to all our customers”.
The operator chose the prepay option, where credit is added in advance, which offers rolling caps over the day, 7 or 28-day period. Travel entitlement and concessions, such as young person, student or apprentice, are automatically associated with the customers’ accounts to offer the best fares.
Following the events of recent months, reducing cash handing and multi-user touch screens are two important ways to increase customer confidence in using public transport. ABT with Barcodes allows customers to service their own ticketing needs through their smartphone – it gives them the ticket to travel, whenever the need it.
For transport scheme operators, the solution enables them to offer best value fares, without the effort and cost involved with issuing or managing smart cards. Customers simply need to download the travel app and set up their payment details, and they can start using ABT. For added convenience, it supports flexible ways of topping up their account, through their online account or at a travel shop.
Mark Fagan, Head of ACT, said, “The intuitive mobile app makes it so simple for passengers to sign up for ABT, and scheme operators can apply their own branding, so it’s consistent at every customer touchpoint.
“Passengers also benefit from using their phone to complete the whole ticketing process, with no need to interact with multi-user touchpoints, such as TVMs. We hope it will go some way in restoring confidence in using public transport”.
For public transport to be inclusive and convenient for all, the same best value fares need to be accessible for passengers that don’t use a bank account or don’t wish to use it for ticketing. ACT’s new barcode app offers passengers the option to load value to their travel account in advance of travel, in the form of cash or payment card, at their local travel shop. This ‘credit’ is then spent as and when they travel, and they are notified when their account needs topping up.
This pre-pay option ensures anyone with a smartphone can access best value fares through ABT, which will lead to a further reduction in cash transactions at the point of boarding.
Contactless options for ticketing are wide ranging. For example, many operators offer simple contactless card payment for point-to-point single or return tickets. Although this helps to reduce cash handling and friction in ticketing and boarding, it does not have the flexibility of capping journeys retrospectively for travel over the day or week, over multiple transport modes and operators. This is where ABT comes into its own – still reducing friction and cash handling, but with the convenience of a range of tokens, across operators and modes – offering choice, convenience and best value fares.
As Tom Morgan advises, “We need to react quickly to new market changes and customer needs – whether its smart cards, mobile, Apple Pay, Google Pay, wearables, biometrics, as they come along. We now want the flexibility to add new offers, routes, days of the week – all available in the ABT solution, and we get that flexibility with ACT.”
For more information or a demo of ABT with Barcodes, please contact ACT on info@weareACT.com or +44 1249 751200.