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ITSO on Mobile launches with Google Pay

ITSO Transit Hub, is bringing ITSO, the UK’s trusted national smartcard to mobile phones, by enabling Google Pay to ensure an instant, secure and seamless ticketing experience for passengers.

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ITSO on Mobile aims to provide a universal solution that lets passengers purchase, fulfil and use an ITSO-compatible ticket on their mobile phones. Integrating with transport retail mobile applications and websites, ITSO on Mobile securely delivers purchased tickets, within seconds, directly to the Google Pay digital wallet on the phone.

The secure ticket is delivered over the air by ITSO Transit Hub’s cloud-based ticket fulfilment service, which is integrated with the operator’s back office system and with Google Pay. The ticket on the handset emulates a standard ITSO smartcard and is instantly recognised by ticket validator machines or gates. The smartphone serves as both ticket machine and ticket to provide a modern, end-to-end mobile ticketing solution.

Transport for West Midlands (TfWM), which is part of the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA), has rolled out the new technology, initially on the West Midlands Metro tram network as a pilot for up to 500 users, prior to a wider rollout that would also include buses and trains.

Cllr Roger Lawrence, WMCA portfolio holder for transport, says: “We are excited to be introducing ticketing on Android smartphones with Google Pay and ITSO Transit Hub for our West Midlands Metro passengers.

“We are always looking to use technology to make travelling by public transport easier for more people in the West Midlands and will continue to explore new ways to improve our services. By providing more convenient ways to buy a ticket we will encourage more people to use public transport.”

The roll out has been made possible by funding from Midlands Connect, the pan-regional transport partnership, as part of its smart ticketing programme.

Maria Machancoses, Midlands Connect Director, says: “Technology like this is the future of public transport ticketing, and we’re delighted to contribute funding to help Transport for West Midlands lead the way in rolling it out.  There is huge potential to replicate this model in other parts of the Midlands and it’s our aim to work with other transport authorities to revolutionise the way passengers travel. Our long-term aspiration is to work with local authorities to allow seamless travel across the Midlands, between different modes of transport.”

ITSO on Mobile combines Google Pay functionality with the security, flexibility and scalability of ITSO products, giving transport operators the opportunity to offer at ease, a mobile solution to their passengers supplementing their traditional ITSO smartcard schemes.

As ITSO on Mobile is deployed by other transport operators, the true interoperability of the ITSO standard will be realised, allowing mobile-based smart tickets to support journeys across multiple operators and transport modes.

Steve Wakeland, CEO, of ITSO and ITSO Transit Hub, comments "People want to buy travel in the same way that they buy other goods and services and working with Google Pay has enabled us to do just that. ITSO on Mobile will make ticketing a quicker, easier and more seamless daily process for the travelling public.

"Like all existing ITSO smartcard solutions, the new mobile technology will provide a strong security management system, ensuring the safety of transaction data.ITSO on Mobile has been developed with our ITSO members in mind - it is compatible with all current ITSO smartcard infrastructure and designed to ensure sustainable ongoing operational costs.”

Carlos Gonzalez, Strategic Partner Manager, Google, adds "We are excited to work with TfWM and ITSO Transit Hub to help ease the daily journey for commuters. Google Pay aims to create an effortless, immersive mobile transit experience for users, removing the friction of getting a ticket and saving valuable time for busy commuters.

“Easing the end-to-end travel experience has been a key focus for Google, and we’re excited that people using Swift on Mobile can now leverage Google Pay to instantly buy, store and use West Midlands Metro tram tickets.”

Passengers can download the Google Pay app and the Swift on Mobile app from the Play Store. For more information about ITSO on Mobile, please visit www.itso.org.uk.

For more information contact nigel.cullum@itso.org.uk