National Express West Midlands celebrates May Day with contactless ticketing breakthrough

Early in the morning of the May Day bank holiday 2019, National Express West Midlands successfully completed the rollout of its full upgraded Model 2 contactless ticket system.

This is the first time a fully accredited Model 2 (MTT Mass Transit Model) system has been successfully deployed outside London. 

Working with their partners from the world of finance and ticketing, the National Express West Midlands team have spent the last few months testing the new system to ensure it is compliant, secure and meets the full specification as created by the UK Cards Association (now part of UK Finance). 

National Express West Midlands Development Director, Martin Hancock, said:

“The introduction of contactless payments has allowed National Express West Midlands to improve our boarding speeds and reduce the amount of cash carried on our buses. It’s an exciting development, giving us the platform to work towards account-based ticketing, which will deliver further benefits to our customers. 

“We are currently seeing over 150,000 transactions every week on our buses using contactless cards. That number continues to grow as our passengers discover how simple and convenient it is.”

Contactless capped fares are available on all the company’s 1600 buses, with different caps applying to peak and off-peak travel, and geographical travel zones such as Coventry. 

National Express West Midlands recently launched a contactless-only capped low fare zone on a single route. Rather than capping at the usual daysaver rate, a customer who uses this route only will cap at the lowest fare. This latest development opens up possible innovations such as more sophisticated and granular capping levels – such as capping by area, capping over a week.

The benefits of the system are that the customer can now see clearer information on their bank statement. And for the operator, liability for failed payment transactions is transferred to the card issuer, and transaction costs are reduced.

Published 10th May 2019