All three of Go-Ahead Group’s businesses in the Thames Valley — Oxford Bus Company, Thames Travel and Carousel Buses — began accepting contactless payments from 8 June, eight months after Stagecoach chose the area for its first contactless roll-out.
It says that the delay has allowed it to implement a more sophisticated system in partnership with ticket machine supplier Ticketer and payment processing company Littlepay, which specialises in low value transactions. This will reduce the additional transaction cost of contactless payment by aggregating multiple transactions from the same customer into a single debit to their account.
Phil Southall, managing director of the three bus companies, says: ‘Our research has told us that customers expect contactless to do more than just replace their existing cash ticket. They want the back office to select and pay for the best value tickets for them, based on their own personal journey patterns.
‘With this in mind, we took the decision not to rush into launching a system identical to that used by our local competitor, but instead to invest in developing a solution that over time will much better meet the needs of our customers.
‘We have ambitious plans over the coming months to introduce further improvements which we hope will help to make our customers’ lives easier.’