The technology behind ITSO smartcards has revolutionised the way we travel by train in the UK, delivering customer convenience and satisfaction though seamless integration and interoperability. The Department for Transport (DfT) wants to improve the uptake of ITSO as part of its strategy to retire magstripe, but Hammock had identified a problem. While season ticket holders were direct beneficiaries of smartcards, it offered fewer benefits to those who travelled less frequently, comparative to paper, especially when it came to getting the best walk-up fare. A solution was needed that was cost-effective and made use of the ITSO smartcard standard.
To support the DfT and encourage greater use of smartcards, Hammock needed to provide more universal benefits. Using Account Based Ticketing, via a Continuous Payment Authority arrangement, Hammock developed a pay-as-you-go product, called keyGo, that would make travel hassle-free and economical for the less frequent commuter.
When a customer travels using their smartcard, the journeys are calculated into the cheapest walk- up fare, and the customer is automatically charged via their elected payment card. Queuing to buy tickets becomes a thing of the past.
The keyGo Smartcard Back Office uses Applied Card Technology’s (ACT) HOPS to pass on journey taps to the newly created iBlocks SmartTIS. The iBlocks SmartTIS was designed to interpret the journey taps into journeys and effectively perform the account management with parity to the ACT Back Office. Customers are able to fully manage their account online via the On Track Retail WebTIS and view journeys, billing and where they may have forgotten to tap.
After a successful trial, keyGo is now being used for more customer journeys on Southern Railway, when compared to all ITSO singles and returns, and is being introduced on Great Northern and Thameslink routes. We are working on additional enhancements to increase use.
The keyGo product offers the best value walk-up fare on National Rail services and has resolved a regular customer complaint of overly complex fare structures.