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Boosting bus use with contactless payments

Shifting traditional bus payment methods give bus users easy access to contactless journey and payment history

24 February 2022


UK public transport app and website provider, Passenger, has announced a nationwide partnership with payments infrastructure provider, Littlepay, which will give public transport users total transparency about the fares they pay using contactless bank cards and contactless-enabled devices, and a clear view of fare-capping benefits.

Representatives from Passenger and Littlepay will be speaking at the Landor Links webinar, ‘Improving the Passenger Experience with Contactless Journeys’, part of the Public Transport Recovery series, alongside a speaker from The Go-Ahead Group and other transport bodies on Wednesday 2nd March. Free registration here

Passenger’s contactless journeys portal allows bus users using “Tap On, Tap Off” or other contactless payment systems to view their past journeys and how much they were charged every step of the way – all within existing operator platforms. The new feature means users will no longer have to switch between different apps or websites when planning their journeys and viewing travel and payment history. 

The feature is designed to remove complexity from existing contactless payment data models, with all information presented in a user-friendly format. 

Greg Hepworth, Head of Product at Passenger commented: “According to UK Finance, over 80% of people in the UK now use contactless, with contactless payments accounting for more than a quarter of all UK payments. It’s therefore essential that public transport operators are equipped with effective contactless capabilities to align with this growing trend.

The collaboration with Littlepay will allow contactless EMV payments and fare capping activity to be introduced by Littlepay into a contactless journeys portal within transport apps and websites provided by Passenger. This means that operators that have a contactless deployment with Littlepay will now be able to give their customers a real-time overview of all journeys made using a contactless bank card or contactless-enabled smart device as payment.

Hepworth added: "Our new contactless journeys portal complements existing contactless payment systems to make data as easy to digest as possible for the end user – improving the overall experience of travelling on public transport and empowering more people to opt for buses over their cars.”

“Our partnership with Littlepay means operators across the country can significantly boost their customer experience when it comes to contactless payments. For too long, customers have had to jump between platforms to purchase tickets and view journey history – now, they can do it all in one place in an easy-to-navigate format.

"Rather than having to switch to a different app to view their journeys, fares and where they were capped, customers will be able to see this information within existing Passenger apps and websites. Push notifications will enable customers to be kept informed about travel events as they happen, such as reaching a fare cap. This proactive passenger engagement gives passengers confidence in the value for money they’re receiving.

"Through the portal’s unified and transparent approach, passengers are made to feel more in control of their journeys and travelling via public transport becomes a more convenient and attractive alternative to cars. Overall, the efforts of our partnership with Littlepay will support the objectives of the National Bus Strategy, enhancing trust in public transport services and ultimately, increasing patronage.”

Sheryll Ricketts, Solutions Consultancy Lead at Littlepay commented: “We’re thrilled to be working with Passenger to bring operators a powerful way to improve customer experience.

"Giving passengers real-time access to their travel and payments data demystifies fare capping and highlights the value of using contactless EMV for fare payments. It will prove especially valuable where multi-operator fare caps are applied, providing a single place to monitor payments across different operators’ networks. This transparency has a knock-on effect of inspiring passenger loyalty and frequent ridership, a top priority for operators.”

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