Transport for Greater Manchester

Transport for Greater Manchester

Contactless Ticketing

Briefly describe the initiative/ project/service; please include your aims and objectives

An ‘intelligent’ contactless system that cuts out paper tickets or having to download an app. A quick easy touch-in and touchout at tram stops with a contactless card or device, and the system works out the customers cheapest fare for the journeys they have made that day, up to a daily cap. Joining other innovative citites of New York, London, Rio and Singapore in providing customers with contactless journeys and “intelligent” cheapest fare calculations and payments.

TfGM is full compliant within PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards), ensuring our customers payment card is never compromised. PCI DSS enables TfGM to reduce the risk of credit/debit cards data loss. TfGM have a full Security Awareness training programme in place for all staff who work in a PCI DSS environment.

What are the key achievements?

The movement from private beta to public beta then only involved turning off the “whitelist” which restricted the service to those invited. The incremental building and testing of the service coupled with focusing on a minimum viable product and not trying to do everything from day 1 and the extensive private beta testing over a period of 8 months ensured a successful launch on 15th July 2019.

Other learnings are that there is no such thing as a technology project only a business project with a technology element. The project also involved extensive marketing and communications to ensure people understood the service and how to us it as well as extensive training for the contact centre that supports the service.

What are the key learning points?

The system needs to be secure at every point from the customer touching their contactless device on a validator, through the cheapest fare being calculated through to payments taken automatically from their cards. In order to ensure this security was built in from the start and was the foundations that the rest of service was built upon.

The approach was to build the service incrementally continually testing and adding more and more features as required until we reached the minimum viable product for launch. Private beta testing was critical which started with a few people, the project team, friends and family and invited external parties. This ensured that the system was tested in the real world to ensure it was secure, scalable and people where charged the right amount. This real-world private beta invitation only testing also included a small contact centre to test and ensure the training was adequate and the service could be supported as well as real and simulated incidents to testing our major incident management processes.

Additional Comments

The service also put in place a modern, secure and scalable insight and analytics platform providing anonymous information on the usage of the service to all TfGM to understand how it is being used and how to improve the service moving forward. For example increasing number of validators at certain stops, increasing / decreasing frequency of trams based on demand.