Unicard News
Unicard celebrate 20 years of smart thinking about travel
Milestone marks our journey to becoming leading provider of software solutions for transport and smart ticketing
July 3rd 2023 by Unicard

Unicard are marking our 20th anniversary as a pioneering technology company whose smart ticketing software is used by local authorities across the UK to handle fares and concessions on public transport.

We began with a single city smartcard and have grown into the leading provider of software solutions for public and private sector transport management and smart ticketing. Our products are trusted by millions of passengers to get them where they need to be.

The seeds of what was to become Unicard were planted in 2000 with a Schlumberger project called Smart Cities. Its goal was to introduce a single, all-access smartcard in Southampton, UK. Unicard’s Executive Chairman Peter Verrept was the Technical Lead on the project.

Peter Verrept and Konstantin Chterev acquired the Smart Cities products from Schlumberger and created Unicard, with the company officially incorporated on July 2, 2003.

Konstantin established our software development team in Varna, Bulgaria, while Peter handled sales and support in the UK for the existing customers in Southampton. Together, they set out to expand the Smart Cities concept to other UK local authorities.

However, they quickly realised that the most successful part of the business was providing services to the transport sector. So Unicard decided to focus on Card Management System (CMS) provision, printing ITSO cards, and expanding into ITSO transaction management systems.

In the following years, Unicard implemented ITSO standards for our smartcard issuing scheme, and we secured our first ITSO contract, with Transport for West Midlands.

Unicard have continued to innovate since then, with notable achievements including:

  • working with ITSO and IDEMIA to deliver ITSO on Mobile, by building the engine that supports smart ticketing on mobile phones and other devices
  • working with Euclid to deliver Account Based Ticketing (ABT) at Transport for West Midlands
  • delivering a mobile app, AMS-HOPS and Part 11 integration for Transport Scotland to manage the Scottish Concessionary Travel Scheme
  • delivering the UK’s first multi-city MaaS scheme to Solent Transport as part of its Future Transport Zone plan
  • moving into the rail sector and delivering an industry-first, cloud-based, multi-tenanted HOPS for Rail Delivery Group to support 17 Train Operating Companies

Throughout the two decades of Unicard’s existence, a constant has been the company’s founder, Peter Verrept (above).

Peter is well respected in the worlds of smart ticketing and public transport. He’s calm and quietly spoken, and renowned for being trustworthy and level-headed. As such, Unicard enjoys a reputation for innovation, collaboration and always putting customers first.

The company he founded 20 years ago now has a customer base that spans more than 60 national, regional and local authorities including Solent Transport, Transport Scotland, Merseytravel and Transport for West Midlands, and our products serve more than 4 million smartcard holders across the UK. We remain focused on how ticketing can promote social inclusion, and provide the systems behind most free elderly and disabled bus passes across the country.