Hoeft & Wessel offers NFC capability to its public transport ticketing
Posted by Seth PlanckOctober 02nd, 2011 at 6:56 PM Filed Under Latest News
Hoeft & Wessel revolutionizes e-Ticketing in public transport with NFC payments, Visa & MasterCard on the bus not under it
Hoeft & Wessel has announced that it is now offering NFC ticketing products to public transportation customers. Cast your mind back a little to when FirstGroup announced that they planned to deploy NFC in their buses throughout England and potentially the whole of the United Kingdom, the NFC POS supplier they intended to use was Hoeft & Wessel. The company says that long waiting times when buying tickets on buses and trains are now a thing of the past. Well, for those public transportation companies that use Hoeft & Wessel anyway. Hoeft & Wessel has announced that it will provide them with a new Almex NFC e-Ticketing system for convenient, contactless payment by credit card without prior registration.
- New e-Ticketing system for check-in/check-out with NFC credit card
- High-speed boarding without prior registration
- Now passengers only need an NFC credit card (or hopefully an NFC phone with the appropriate app)
“This super-fast ticketing system will practically revolutionise the public transport system. All passengers will soon need is a credit card with NFC functionality to be able to board the means of transport of their choice immediately. What this means in practice is boarding, holding the card in front of the reading device and starting the journey. After holding the card in front of a reader at the end of the journey the best fares will be calculated and charged. There really is no simpler solution,” explains Thomas Wolf, member of the Board of Management of the Hoeft & Wessel Group.
The benefits of the new system Hoeft & Wessel provides includes high-end on-board computers with integrated ticket printers in their almex.optima business line version and electronic validators that use the almex.smartfare series. Hoeft & Wessel claims that the new NFC ticketing system will minimize the transaction time required for identification of the credit card or the e-Ticket. The firm says that their system will process a transaction in less than 500 milliseconds. The system is predicated on CreditCall’s contactless.LIB EMV Kernel which has allowed Hoeft & Wessel to offer both Visa and MasterCard NFC payment capabilities for public transportation whether that be in trains, buses, or any other form of public mass transport system.
Peter Aylward, General Manager of Almex UK, part of Hoeft & Wessel, explained, “CreditCall is a globally acknowledged industry expert with an exceptional track record in the payment sector. Their Contactless Kernel has enabled us to quickly and economically integrate contactless payment functionality across our offering.”
CreditCall’s CTO Jeremy Gumbley stated, “We are delighted that Hoeft & Wessel as a well-known provider of proven ticketing systems across Europe have opted for our contactless kernel. With Contactless.LIB, Hoeft & Wessel is able to make contactless payment available more widely, contributing significantly to the contactless payment revolution happening right now.”
Hoeft & Wessel solution facilitates simple NFC tap on/tap off or check-in/check-out process.
Passengers who board a Hoeft & Wessel enabled bus or train will now be able to simply wave their NFC card in front of the POS terminal and be seated. When they leave the public transport vehicle they simply wave their card across the NFC terminal again to end their journey. This process brings new capabilities to transportation that haven’t been available before.
Instead of only being able to offer a predefined price, the NFC system can now charge a passenger for how long they have traveled on the bus. This also allows the fare to be calculated at the best possible price for a passenger. For example, let’s say you were taking a bus across England and you needed to change buses three times to get where you were going. The new NFC payments system would work out whether a day pass or a per trip fare was best for you and charge you the best price available.
A benefit to the operator is that they only need to charge you when your use of public transportation has concluded and therefore they save on transaction fees as they only bill you once in a day. Passengers no longer need to carry a specific bus pass or signup for ticketing, they can now simply use an NFC enabled card or we assume an NFC phone with a mobile wallet and the Hoeft & Wessel system takes care of everything else. The tap on/tap off aspect of the system allows for a lot more flexibility in the way public transportation companies charge for their services, which will more than likely benefit consumers.
Hoeft & Wessel still has great plans in the home market of its Almex brand. “Now that we have reached a leading position in the bus market, we plan to intensify our efforts in the field of stationary ticketing terminals. In the process, in future we will also be targeting the railway market in the United Kingdom,” says Peter Aylward, General Manager of Almex UK in Swindon.
“The e-Ticketing solution used in the United Kingdom is based on the latest and, hence, fastest version ITSO 2.1.4, which reduces boarding times substantially. In addition, the new system is being offered in other European countries also with the e-Ticketing standards Calypso and VDV-KA.”
Hoeft & Wessel will be testing its system as it equips 4,000 NFC POS systems on FirstGroup buses in the UK, where they also hope to receive a further order for another 1,500 buses being added to the system if the trial is successful. So far the company has only referenced to NFC cards that are Visa payWave and MasterCard PayPass enabled and we are hoping that the system allows for NFC phones to use Hoeft & Wessel NFC public transportation systems from now on for ticketing.