Smart421 wins contract to deliver integration for new ITSO-based UK smart rail ticketing


UK IT services firm Smart421 has announces a new contract win to help deliver the next generation smart ticketing system for the Rail industry. The contract for a Transaction Management System (TMS) for South East Flexible Ticketing (SEFT) is awarded to Smart421 by the Rail Settlement Plan Limited, the commercial arm of the Association of Train Operating Companies (ATOC) and comes after a rigorous competitive tender process.

The SEFT programme will deliver ITSO smart ticketing to the rail network in South East England, surrounding London. ITSO is the nationally agreed UK open specification for transport tickets on smart media, to include plastic smart cards and mobile devices that support Near Field Communications (NFC).

Rail passengers will benefit from a switch to smart tickets because:

  • they open automatic ticket gates more quickly and reliably
  • it will be easier to buy tickets online and collect them at stations
  • they will help to shorten queues at ticket offices
  • they don’t wear out as quickly as paper tickets
  • they will allow delay/repay procedures to be simplified
  • they are more secure
  • they can easily be blocked and replaced when Lost/Stolen
  • they can be personalised to the customer with a photo image
  • they can combine products for example a travel ticket and discount entitlement
  • the platform will later enable use by mobile phones using contactless technology called Near Field Communications (NFC) which will make it even simpler to buy and use tickets

Smart421 will design, develop, deliver and support the Transaction Management System (TMS) over the next four years. The TMS will be used by the train operating companies (TOCs) who are participants in the SEFT scheme central back office. The TMS has many of the same performance, security, scalability, availability, resilience and integration attributes required for the Live Sales Management (LSM) solution, which was delivered by Smart421 earlier this year.

TMS will use a modern open-source Java based software platform, customised and integrated by Smart421 Consultants and will be hosted in a cloud-based environment in Amazon Web Services (AWS) to fulfil the key scalability/high availability requirements.

Neil Miles, managing director at Smart421, said, “The SEFT contract reinforces Smart421’s leading position and role in digital transformation in the Rail sector; Smart421 delivered the Live Sales Management system for Rail Settlement Plan as well as a separate Service Integration and Management (SIAM) project for National Rail Enquiries. We are delighted to be involved in SEFT which will contribute directly to improvements that both the Government and rail passengers want to see.”

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