Go-Ahead launches contactless payments in Oxford

8 June 2017  •  Author(s): Eurotransport

Go-Ahead has begun accepting contactless EMV payments on buses and coaches at its Oxford division, comprising Oxford Bus Company, Thames Travel and Carousel Buses.

oxford contactless payments

Back row from left: Andreea Sarsan (Go-Ahead); John Clarfelt (Ticketer); Thea Fisher (Littlepay) and front row from left: Andrew Quan and Richard Davies (Littlepay); Phil Southall (Managing Director of Oxford Bus Company); Luke Marion (Finance and Commercial Director Oxford Bus Company); Kanwar Brar (Go-Ahead)

The project is the result of a partnership between Go-Ahead, Ticketer and Littlepay, and the deployment is believed to be the largest outside of London to use back office technology based on the UK Cards Association (UKCA)’s ‘Model 2′.

The new system has the potential to offer London style ‘pay as you go’ ticketing with fares calculated – and capped – in the back office, rather than by the driver’s ticket machine. It is also the first ‘Model 2’ deployment to feature a fully integrated EMV reader within the bus ticket machine.

“We’re really proud to be able to offer the ability for customers to pay for their tickets using Visa, Mastercard, Apple Pay and Android Pay on all of our services from today,” said Phil Southall, Managing Director of Oxford Bus Company, Thames Travel and Carousel Buses. “Our research has told us that customers expect contactless to do more than just replace their existing cash ticket – they want the back office to select and pay for the best value tickets for them, based on their own personal journey patterns.

contactless oxford

“With this in mind, we have taken the decision not to rush into launching a system identical to that used by our local competitor, but instead to invest in developing a solution that over time will much better meet the needs of our customers.”

The company’s new system is able to help mitigate the increased transaction costs which operators face from introducing contactless payments, by ‘aggregating’ multiple transactions from the same customer together into a single debit to their account.

“Passengers in Oxford will no longer have to worry about having enough cash to buy a ticket”

“We are delighted to see Go Ahead launch this new contactless ticketing implementation,” Briony Krikorian-Slade, Principal Policy Adviser at The UK Cards Association added. “It means passengers in Oxford will no longer have to worry about having enough cash to buy a ticket, and will also allow passengers to benefit from fare capping, ensuring that they get the best value fare for their journey, which customer research indicates is something passengers value highly.”

Following the Oxford launch, Go-Ahead is planning to extend the roll out of contactless payment technology to its other bus operations across the UK over the coming months.

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One response to “Go-Ahead launches contactless payments in Oxford”

  1. Steve Ward says:

    Very interesting and encouraging. Does this involve customers tapping their payment card on the ticket machine when leaving the bus? Otherwise how does the system know what fare to charge?

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