Payzone teams up with Ecebs to offer smart travel ticketing in 20,000 UK stores

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Payzone, one of the UK’s largest independent network of in-store payment processing terminals, and Ecebs, the UK’s leading smart transport technology company, have teamed up to offer   smart transport tickets in local outlets.

The project will see the installation of Ecebs’ remote ticket download software 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. 

The process of installing Ecebs technology will begin immediately and is expected to take 18 months to complete. The first transport authority to benefit from a live service is thought to be Centro in the West Midlands, with more to follow. 

Members of the public will be able to buy their 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.

Russell McCullagh, managing director of Ecebs, said: “This agreement is a watershed moment for travellers and transport providers across the UK. 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. As the only company with a solution that can be ITSO enabled using existing online infrastructure, we are uniquely positioned to expand the reach of smart ticketing across the UK and are delighted to be working in partnership with Payzone to achieve this.”

Ecebs’ emote 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 uses cloud technology, by creating software that can be remotely added to any online terminal thus enabling ITSO travel tickets to be delivered anywhere in the UK without the need to replace or add new terminals. It means customers can benefit from easy access to transport tickets as Payzone terminals are typically located at convenience stores, newsagents and off-licences.

Ecebs estimates as many as 1.5bn smart transport transactions will take place every year by 2014 with huge growth in new commercial ticketing schemes. Ecebs claims its 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.  

There are as many as 35 different smart card 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.  

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.”