Created by Ecebs the technology enables travellers across the UK transport network to download their travel tickets on the move and tap their smartphone at ticket barriers to gain access to travel in the same way Oyster users do with their cards in London. The system will also use NFC (Near Field Communications) chip technology to convert people’s smartphones into mobile smart card ‘top up’ devices.
The news came just after transport secretary Justine Greening announced that smart cards are to be rolled out across the country in response to the recommendations of Sir Roy McNulty’s report into finding value for money in the UK rail network. The transport secretary aims to make £3.5bn in annual efficiency savings.
Once installed, Ecebs’ system will represent a big change in the way consumers buy and use travel tickets. For example, visitors from overseas will be able to purchase their travel needs in advance, download them to their mobile phone, arrive in the UK and travel immediately by simply swiping their phone at a gate.
Ecebs believes its Paragon RTD technology will form the future of mass transit ticketing in the UK and across the globe as the massive expansion in the use of smart media for everyday activities continues.
David Burdett, Managing Director, Ecebs said: “Paragon RTD is the first product of its kind and is ready for use throughout the UK transport network. It will greatly improve the ease of ticket purchasing for customers and provide peace of mind that transactions are safe.
I often hear members of the travelling public voicing frustration when using today’s ticketing systems, saying ‘Why can’t I just get my ticket or top up now, why isn’t there an app for that?’ Well now there is.
“We’re already speaking to a number of transport operators and integrators about putting systems in place during 2012 so expect to see this innovation in a location near you soon.
“The ‘ticket’ is locked into the technology contained within the smart phone or card so it can’t be copied unlike some other forms of ticketing media. It is possible for users to nominate a phone or card to use as the ticket, which creates many new possibilities. For example, a parent can conveniently arrange their children’s travel ensuring that their balance is topped up and will not leave their child stranded with no means of travel. In addition, as RTD is compliant with the UK standards body, it isn’t a propriety system, meaning it could be used on buses, trains, trams, ferries and subways all across the UK.”
Ecebs is the first company in the world to meet the Part 11 ITSO specification, which covers remote delivery of tickets over the internet and mobile environments. The news of the certification quickly followed agreement between Ecebs and the Department for Transport relating to Ecebs Patent applications in this area.