One million ‘taps’…and counting

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Lothian customers have ‘tapped’ their way to a one million milestone as the bus operator’s new contactless and fare capped payment system has been introduced in Scotland’s capital city.

The open payments technology, developed by fare collection specialists Flowbird Transport Intelligence, officially logged its one millionth ‘tap’ in Edinburgh in little over a month on 27 August.

The Lothian scheme became Scotland’s first ‘contactless and capped’ transport payment system when launched on July 24 in time for the Edinburgh Festivals season…and soon the number of ‘taps’ were soaring to a record of 45,000 per day in the lead-up to the one million landmark.

Nigel Serafini, Lothian’s Commercial Director said: “We’re excited to have been the first bus operator in Scotland to introduce capped contactless payments to our customers. To have hit one million taps in just over a month is incredible and we are completely overwhelmed by how quickly Edinburgh’s residents and visitors have embraced this new payment method.

“We look forward to introducing the next phase of this project with our technology partners at Flowbird across the next few months.”

The Flowbird technology makes it easier for local people and visitors to access Lothian services in the city by using contactless bank cards and mobile devices as travel tokens. Passengers simply board the bus and tap their card on a validator – there’s no need to queue at a sales point, search for cash or even ‘tap off’ at the end of the journey.

The scheme caps the cost of multiple journeys made on the same day for Lothian City buses after three or more taps the system automatically charges the user the best day ticket price and no more.

Owen Griffith, Managing Director of Flowbird Transport Intelligence, said: “We are delighted that so many people have embraced the convenience of ‘#TapTapCap’ and to have reached one million taps in such a short period of time demonstrates how popular this facility is.

“As a long-term technology partner for Lothian, we share their vision of making public transport as accessible as possible, and this system – requiring just one tap per journey – is both super convenient and secure.”

Flowbird’s solution for Lothian is fully compliant with the stringent security standards of the Payment Card Industry (PCI) and goes beyond many other schemes by including PCI certified Point-to-Point Encryption (P2PE) that securely encrypts and protects card data at the point of tap.


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