From contactless EMV to new retail platforms and cloud-based back office architectures, systems specialist Parkeon Transportation is leading the way in harnessing the benefits of the digital era to optimise operator efficiency and improve the end-to-end experience for passengers.

The award-winning company is the preferred automatic fare collection partner for public transport operators across the UK and will be presenting its digital technology pathway at this year’s ALBUM conference.

This includes playing a key role in delivering the industry’s vision of contactless travel across the board by 2022.

“That said, contactless is just the beginning of the digital revolution,” says Owen Griffith, Managing Director of Parkeon Transportation.

“We’re now working on new architectures that will make ticketing truly seamless for end users through fully integrated platforms capable of bundling apps, payment options and automatic ‘best-fare’ functionality into one holistic solution. This will not only make multi-modal travel easier for individuals than ever before, with the environmental benefits that this brings, it will also enable them to tailor the services they receive to meet their individual requirements, for example through account-based ticketing and personalised travel information.”

In addition, Parkeon’s digital pathway for transport operators will integrate back office, payments, hosting and inspection requirements while simultaneously providing bespoke analytics to sharpen marketing activity and improve scheduling decisions…helping organisations to become even more customer-centric.

Parkeon has a rich heritage of working with ALBUM group members over many years, including the development of contactless payment strategies.

Says Owen Griffith: “Bus operators are on a digital journey that will enable customers to access services more easily using a payment methodology that is becoming increasingly popular in every area of daily life. The use of contactless bank cards alongside Apple Pay and Android Pay on mobile phones offers an improved passenger experience which I believe will encourage more people to travel by bus.”

Optimising Performance Through Data

Parkeon’s PrismAnalytics® platform uses data visualisation to help public transport operators map performance trends and identify opportunities for improvement.

This innovative tool is capable of presenting data from a myriad of sources in a way that enables managers to ‘see’ any performance hotspots that need addressing and identify trends to reduce cost and generate new revenue streams.

“Parkeon ticketing systems have always been data-rich and the introduction of our Prism platform provides operators with access to that data through very powerful and highly visual analytics,” says Gary Wilson, Parkeon’s Head of Project Delivery. “However, ticketing data is only part of the story. Prism continues Parkeon’s open access to data philosophy and enables other sources to be blended, providing managers with a truly holistic overview by unlocking the power of data gathered across the entire organisation.

“And because the platform is browser-based, it’s easy to share insights internally.”

The solution is hosted and maintained by Parkeon, whose data experts help customers set the required data capture and reporting parameters, for example via the operator’s ticketing system, to enable a fast, secure and robust connection with the Prism engine.

Over 100M Reasons To Be Ready For Contactless

Parkeon is helping bus operators prepare for the contactless revolution as customer enthusiasm for this easy payment option continues to grow.

According to the UK Cards Association, there are now over 100m contactless cards in circulation – and these accounted for over £3bn in spend in December 2016 alone.

“Contactless technology not only makes travel more convenient for customers, it also opens up significant operational and marketing opportunities for bus operators,” says Gavin Trimnell, Parkeon’s Head of Sales and Marketing.

“Data collected by contactless payment methods can be extremely valuable to operators in creating a product portfolio that is more customer and retail-focused. It opens up opportunities for bus companies to optimise their investment in ticketing and real-time data management by responding more quickly to market trends.”

Parkeon’s contactless expertise is being widely deployed across the UK and around the world. Working with its long-term customer Arriva, Parkeon has developed and applied contactless payment systems via its Wayfarer200 ticketing platform – utilising the new Axio 4c secure card reader – on buses serving two busy routes in the North East. In addition, Parkeon is the technology partner for Transdev Blazefield for the roll-out of its contactless scheme in Yorkshire.

One of Parkeon’s most significant developments is CloudFare® – a roadmap that enables operators of every size to move easily from cash, ITSO and commercial smart card transactions to EMV contactless, mobile payments, account-based ticketing and smart device fare collection.

“Moving into the contactless era does present operators with challenges, but CloudFare® provides a clear pathway to the future, harnessing investment in hardware, data transfer systems and back office security to deliver a future-proofed return on open payments investment,” says Gavin Trimnell.