Wimborne, UK. November 24th, 2021: Unicard LTD, an established provider of smart ticketing and payment solutions to the public and commercial transport sectors, today announced that the Rail Delivery Group (RDG) will deploy its fully managed HOPS (Host or Operator Processing System) to support the smart ticketing requirements of Train Operating Companies (TOCs) across the UK. The Unicard HOPS solution as a cloud-hosted, multi-tenanted platform is the first of its kind in the rail sector. When used by multiple TOCs, it is secure, scalable and supports multi-modal ticketing across rail and other forms of public transport.
The multi-tenanted HOPS will allow RDG and the TOCs to streamline the processing of smart rail tickets, monitor travel patterns and reduce costs. At the time of launch, Unicard’s solution will consolidate the HOPS of 17 different TOCs onto a centralised system, with scalability built in to accommodate future growth as the changes with the transition to Great British Railways (GBR) come online. The interoperable system provides RDG and the TOCs with a flexible, scalable cloud infrastructure, to manage and process all ITSO accredited smart ticket products, transactions and passenger journeys.
We needed a flexible smart ticketing infrastructure that could support multiple train companies across the UK and Unicard’s hosted solution met with our specifications. It provides us with the ability to centralise and streamline processing capabilities, onboard new train operators and track smart card data and transactions. It also has the potential to support other forms of smart ticketing in the future
Unicard’s HOPS is a highly resilient solution with transaction processing and reporting capabilities. It allows TOCs to migrate from a hardware and on-premise system to a fully hosted and multi-tenanted solution. The HOPS facilitates a more efficient and effective way to process smart card transactions, monitor passenger journeys and customer behaviour. Capacity can be scaled up and down to manage peak activity. The standardised solution makes it quicker and easier to set-up new configurations and onboard additional TOCs. It’s also a secure solution that provides full visibility of all smart ticketing activity via a single user interface.
Unicard has a strong heritage in the smart ticketing space. Its solutions enable Local Authorities and commercial operators to deliver standard and concessionary travel schemes across transport networks and meet with new FTZ requirements. Unicard systems are deployed by 60 national, regional and local authorities throughout the UK to support bus travel and other modes of transport, supporting millions of smart cardholders.
Sean Dickinson, CEO of Unicard, explained: “We have collaborated very closely with RDG to optimise the provision of our HOPS managed service, to support the evolving needs of RDG and the train operating companies in line with the Williams Rail Review. We’re delighted to be part of this exciting new partnership, delivering our solution which is designed to improve service delivery, the customer experience and how tickets are retailed. We share RDG’s commitment to driving innovation, creating a set of common standards and making travel easier”.
Sean added: “This win also contributes to Unicard’s wider rail strategy, where we are providing a capability that removes the barriers to entry for third-party providers, and extends the opportunity to Local Authorities looking to offer smart ticketing for rail”.
Simon Moorhead, Chief Information Officer at the Rail Delivery Group, said: “The rail industry is committed to driving innovation and improving the customer experience for rail passengers. We needed a flexible smart ticketing infrastructure that could support multiple train companies across the UK and Unicard’s hosted solution met with our specifications. It provides us with the ability to centralise and streamline processing capabilities, onboard new train operators and track smart card data and transactions. It also has the potential to support other forms of smart ticketing in the future”.