Unicard provides smart ticketing services for Welsh commuters

Credit: Shutterstock
Credit: Shutterstock

Payment solutions and smart ticketing firm Unicard is working alongside Transport for Wales (TfW) to provide contactless EMV card solutions for Welsh commuters. 

Available on selected train routes and services in Wales, as well as processing payments, the Unicard Ticketing Hub platform has enabled TfW to become the first UK train operator outside of London to deploy contactless EMV services. 

The contactless EMV rollout will begin with a pilot scheme running between Newport, Cardiff and Pontyclun. There are plans for a phased expansion of the service to the South Wales Metro area next year. 

Sean Dickinson, CEO of Unicard, said: “The Unicard team in East Kilbride worked very closely with TfW to implement this service. A significant amount of hard work went into this project, culminating in a solution that enables contactless payments for rail passengers while guaranteeing the best fare. 

“Passengers no longer need to queue for tickets, apply for a travel card or change their ticket if their plans change. They can simply use their bank card or payment app on their mobile device to catch a train and enjoy the convenience of contactless travel.”

Unicard Ticketing Hub is an integration platform designed to orchestrate several third-party systems. It allows customers to use a payment card or mobile device to tap in and out on validators on rail platforms, or gates at ticket barriers, at the start and end of every train journey. 

Unicard Ticketing Hub receives and processes these taps, sending them to iBlocks Account Based Ticketing Back Office, which calculates the value of each trip, taking into account customers’ travel patterns and behaviour. Unicard then ensures accurate and secure payment based on the overall journey. 

Dickinson added: “It’s a scalable solution that can be extended to support contactless payments across other modes of transport, like trams and buses. 

“TfW has delivered a proven model for other UK regions looking to roll out a best-value travel experience for their passengers. Unicard is very proud to be part of the first deployment of contactless card payment tap in and tap out functionality on rail outside of London. 

“We’re looking forward to helping other customers achieve their transport objectives at a faster pace than was previously thought possible.”
Unicard recently acquired ticketing company Ecebs from Visa in a bid to provide more comprehensive payment solutions for commuters as well as expand the overall business.