Wimborne, 10th May 2010 — Experian®, the global information services company, and Unicard, a leading provider of smart card management solutions, have today announced the launch of a new online concessionary travel card application service, www.concessioncard.net. Designed to improve operational efficiencies, the self-service portal developed by Experian and Unicard enables local authorities and Passenger Transport Executives (PTEs) to offer citizens a simple and easy way to apply for or renew concessionary travel cards online.
As part of the English National Concessionary Travel Scheme, eligible citizens over 60 years old can apply for a concessionary bus pass in person or by post. Large volumes of travel cards are manually processed on a daily basis via transport departments, travel centres, libraries or external agencies. The manual process can be inconvenient, time consuming, costly and inconsistent.
Experian and Unicard’s new service improves this process and helps authorities and PTEs align themselves with the government’s Digital Britain drive. The self-service portal enables authorities to widen online access to services to meet government targets, while offering citizens improved access to a new service channel. As a result, it will help authorities improve service efficiencies and reduce time spent on costly manual processes.
Unicard manages the personalised concessionary card registration page which links from the local authority’s own website and is integrated with Unicard's own card management system. Experian’s Authenticate for Public Sector system seamlessly integrates into the service to enable online eligibility checks. By using electronic methods, an authentication decision can be given in seconds without the need for paper-based proofs.
Bella Fortune, Sustainable Travel Team Leader of North Somerset Council, which will be piloting the service comments: “The main focus for us was to improve customer service by offering an online facility for new cards and renewals. It was also a good opportunity to offer our older citizens a gentle introduction to the benefits of e-government. Experian’s solution struck us as being robust in the prevention of fraud.”
Jonathan Bailey, ID & Authentication Consultant for Public Sector at Experian, said: “It is estimated that there are six million concessionary cards in circulation, which need to be renewed between 2011 and 2013. With citizens requesting new and replacement cards in person or by post, there is an immediate opportunity to reduce the burden on local authorities and Passenger Travel Executives. Our new online service will greatly reduce the manual administration associated with travel card applications and renewals, while improving the online services offered to citizens. This shift by public sector organisations towards delivering services without the need for costly face-to-face applications and processes has gathered pace over the last few years and now more than ever holds the key to helping balance public finances.”