Today we launched a new mobile app for the Cowes Floating Bridge that allows customers to quickly and easily buy a ticket for their crossing using their phone – in three simple steps, the customer has a QR code on their phone’s screen that can be scanned by the crew onboard just like a paper ticket.
Here’s some of the advantages that our new Quick Ticket web application provides:
Very quick and easy-to-use
Works on mobile and desktop devices
No credit card needed – pay via mobile phone bill or PayPal
Scans just like a paper ticket
Tickets can be printed, emailed and downloaded
The customer can also retrieve their tickets online with an access code
Reduces hold-ups at quayside machines and/or with cash handling – tickets can be bought before boarding or even before customers leave home
Customers can buy one ticket for a group of people traveling together
Secure and trackable
Just like paper tickets: e-tickets are only valid for one journey and automatically expire after 7 days
A little background information…
We have been providing the ticketing system for the Cowes Floating Bridge for a couple of years now, and over that time we have gradually upgraded the capability of their system. The new app is the latest upgrade to this phased upgrade.
To begin with, we simply provided our waterproof handheld ticket machines for the crew on deck. These issued and printed single and return tickets and logged the money taken.
The first big upgrade to the system came last year with the introduction of a Saver Card, this contactless RFID card gave regular users discounted travel of around 30%.
To support this we built a web portal for card holders that allowed them to:
- Add credit to the account using a card or Direct Debit
- Set a ‘Low Ballance Alert’ email for their account
- Register multiple cards to their account
- Cancel cards if they are lost or stolen
- See a report of usage and credit used
- Manage password and security settings
At the same time, we worked with Parkeon to install Pay & Display style ticket machines at the top of the slipways. These allowed passengers to buy a ticket before boarding and we integrated the machines with our system so they produced a QR code ticket that could be scanned onboard with our handheld terminals and then reconciled to our cloud-based server.
While the Saver Card was very popular, it was not suitable for visitors and non-regular users who still wanted to buy a simple single or return ticket on the day.
To help resolve this problem we have launched the next system upgrade with our new mobile app. This allows visitors and non-regular users to buy a ticket in the ferry queue using their phone, or if they prefer from their computer before they travel.
The web app will be promoted to visitors (around the island and in suitable publications), as well as to passengers / vehicles in the queue, and can be accessed via a short URL customers simply type into their phone (iowfb.uk).
The mobile app’s simple three step process allows them to choose a ticket and then pay using PayPal, a debit/credit card or – if they don’t have a card or cash with them – the can even pay via their mobile phone bill. The phone displays a barcode ticket that they can show to the crew as they board just like a paper ticket.
The whole process usually takes less than 30 seconds, which means a ticket can purchased for just before boarding – avoiding queues and delays at the quayside ticket machines.
The launch of the new app coincides with the new floating bridge, number 6, going into service.
”Many of our clients now asking for the same three key things. First, they want to remove, or reduce as much as possible, cash onboard their assets. Second, they want a ‘closed-loop’ systems where all tickets issued and scanned are reconciled in a central database to prevent fraud and get better data. And finally, they want all this using products, software, and hardware that is easy for customers to use and is also practical for ferry crew to use, standing on deck, in rain and a gale of wind. This app is another big step in that direction and the ability to take payments via people’s mobile bill was key to making it easy for customers. Entering card details is a big barrier for micropayments and the simple one-click option to add the cost of your travel to your phone is easy, even for the less technical user” ~ Toby Budd, TransIQ Director
The way people “pay for stuff” is changing at a significant pace, and at TransIQ we are keen to make sure we deliver technology to our customers at the right time in the development cycle. Our clients don’t want to be an early adopter, but at the same time, they don’t want to miss out on a useful technology if it is going to provide a benefit to their business and make it easier for their customers to travel on their services.
Our new Quick Ticket app is the latest example of how we put those principles into practice.
If you think your business could do with upgrading it’s ticketing infrastructure then please get in touch.