Ticketer recently gave an exclusive to Bus & Coach Buyer magazine, revealing everything about our upcoming product, Ticketer Handheld. Please read the feature written by Chris Peat below.
Transport ticketing specialist Ticketer is releasing a new handheld ticketing solution. The new device is designed to be a step-up from the company’s existing handheld ticketing machine. It has all of the features and user interface of the standard static solution, meaning staff do not have to learn how to use a new device if switching between using the two units.
Simply entitled Ticketer Handheld, the new product enables contactless payments, which Ticketer’s Founder John Clarfelt says is now fundamental. Compared to Ticketer’s current handheld model, John says the new device has a bigger, brighter screen, a faster processor and can scan more accurately and quickly. It also has a longer battery life. The product runs on the Android platform, being the first to do so from Ticketer.
Group Head of Product at Ticketer, Bradley Todd, said: “Android has become much more of an industry standard. There are a number of devices running on this platform. Like any technology it moves forward and it’s become more supported and there are more options. I understand customers may be concerned that we will be moving to Android, but actually we have deliberately designed it so that all updates merge on both our fixed machines and the handheld.”
John added: “That’s key to the whole Ticketer strategy. Everybody comes to the future with us, they don’t get left behind in the past.”
Another important part of the handheld ticketing system is its ability to help an operator comply with the Bus Open Data Service (BODS). John said: “Anybody
who does not have the right machine to comply with BODS and does not need a large ticket machine, then they need this. One thing I am passionate about is giving smaller operators easy access to BODS.”
There are several potential applications for the new handheld device, according to John. One of them is operators who do not have a massive requirement for
fixed ticket machines. John said: “So they might be doing school buses and they have got, at any one point, eight buses doing schools but they have got 20 vehicles. They don’t want to buy 20 ticket machines. Our job is then to give them 20 mounting plates and eight handhelds. Then they have the same functionality as the very largest operator, which I think is an important thing. As a customer, I would expect certain functionality and if I don’t get that the moment I leave my home on a very small vehicle and take one of the major vehicles, then I possibly won’t travel. Our job is to take that functionality and give it to the single bus or one minibus sized operator right the way through to the very largest. The same functionality, the same software.”
John can see it proving popular for operators with lower bodies of transactions. Coaches are another potential application. John said: “You don’t want to necessarily ruin a beautiful coach with a large, fixed ticket machine. And with our new Handheld, you will still have all the functionalities of the larger ETM.’
John also predicts Ticketer Handheld will be useful at large events, where there are high numbers of people to funnel to transport services. The portable device enables ticket sales off the vehicle. The new Ticketer Handheld is due to be released this summer. Blackpool Transport is expected to be the first customer, for use on the Tramway, in the summer. More operators are also expected to order it. Ticketer went live with its ticketing systems with Blackpool Transport earlier in the year, fitting its tap-off card readers.
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