With contactless EMV cards on select train lines, Transport for Wales and Unicard LTD reinvent rail payments for convenience and inexpensive rates.

Transport for Wales (TfW) and Unicard LTD, a reputable supplier of smart ticketing and payment solutions to the public and commercial transportation sectors, have implemented the Ticketing Hub platform. This makes it possible to use contactless EMV card payments on a few Welsh train lines and services. Not only that, but we also handle payment processing and guarantee that travelers pay the lowest possible fare.

Transport for Wales is now the first rail operator in the UK outside of London to implement contactless EMV services thanks to the Unicard Ticketing Hub platform. Newport, Cardiff, and Pontyclun will be the experimental sites for the contactless EMV trial program. Next year, there are plans to gradually expand the service to include the South Wales Metro area.

Considering the deployment “The Unicard team in East Kilbride has worked very closely with TfW to implement this service,” stated Sean Dickinson, CEO of Unicard. A great deal of effort was put into this project. It has now resulted in a system that guarantees the best fare and allows rail customers to make contactless payments.

“Now, travelers don’t have to wait in line to purchase tickets, apply for a travel card, or modify their reservation if their schedule changes. To catch a train, they can just use their bank card or a mobile payment app.

Unicard Hub for Ticketing

An integration platform called Unicard Ticketing Hub is made to coordinate various third-party systems. At the beginning and end of each train trip, consumers can use a payment card or mobile device to tap in and out of validators on rail platforms or gates at ticket barriers.

These taps are received by Unicard Ticketing Hub, which then forwards them to the iBlocks Account Based Ticketing Back Office. This determines the worth of every journey while accounting for the travel habits and preferences of the clients.

Then, based on the entire voyage, Unicard guarantees precise and safe payment. Crucially, Ticketing Hub is independent of the card reader being utilized, in contrast to other contactless EMV card solutions. Because of the multi-modal and multi-operator nature of the Unicard solution, scheme administrators can combine several types of equipment in a single deployment.

“Passengers utilizing specific train services out of Newport, Cardiff, and Pontyclun will initially be able to access the Ticketing Hub solution at launch,” Dickinson continued.

The system is expandable and can be utilized to facilitate contactless payments for several other forms of transportation. Take buses and trams, for instance. For other UK regions aiming to introduce the most affordable travel experience for their passengers, TfW has provided a tested model.

“Unicard is thrilled to have contributed to the first outside of London implementation of contactless card payment tap-in and tap-out technology on rail. We are eager to assist additional clients in achieving their transportation goals more quickly than they had previously anticipated.

At last

In August 2023, Unicard purchased Ecebs, a leading provider of smart transport ticketing and payment systems, from Visa. Ecebs and TfW had been collaborating on the Ticketing Hub solution’s implementation up until this point. However, the epidemic caused a halt to operations.

Work on the platform’s development and third-party integration has picked back up after COVID-19. We are currently in the testing phase of the service. To ensure its viability and operation, a live trial program has been introduced before it is implemented throughout Wales.

More than eighty local and regional administrations in England, Scotland, and now Wales have implemented Unicard’s solutions. In addition to Transport Scotland, Transport for West Midlands (TfWM), Solent Transport, and Transport for London (TfL) and Wales (TfW), it also provides smart ticketing back office and ticket retail services for Rail Delivery Group. These additions came about as a result of the Ecebs acquisition.

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