Using ID-card for payments - Edelaraudtee
Using ID-card for payments - Edelaraudtee
Nature of the solution of the ID-card regular traveller program
Kaart OÜ created a complex solution in order to develop customer relationship management and ticket sales of Estonian railway operator Edelaraudtee AS. It comprised the following domains:
- A regular customer loyalty program
- A customer self-service program
- E-management environment for the company’s customer service officers
- Ticket sales
By virtue of synergy between a web environment and an ID-card, a novel „Plusskaart“ solution offered more convenience for customers and greater efficiency for the company. People, who had previously entered into and digitally signed a regular customer agreement in the web, could ride the train without immediately paying; only authenticating themselves with an ID-card. Journeys were paid under the issued invoice at the beginning of the following month.
Registering the train journey with an ID-card and without immediately paying for it increased significantly a speed of ticket sales process.
Edelaraudtee AS operated the passenger rail traffic towards Tallinn, Rapla, Pärnu, Viljandi, Tartu, Valga, and Narva by the end of 2013. Approximately 1.8 million passengers used Edelaraudtee services in one year.
Edelaraudtee ID-card based customer solution was introduced, developed and managed by Kaart OÜ, which belongs to GoGroup AS concern and is engaged in development and management of corporations’ loyalty card solutions.
In order to cope with the increasing growth of passengers, Edelaraudtee needed to elaborate a consistent ticket sales solution. The goal was to significantly reduce time spent on servicing of one passenger. Moreover, they wanted to solve the program aimed for regular customers in most effective way.
The following goals were set:
- Halve the average time spent on selling a ticket to a passenger.
- Significantly reduce ticket sales transactions handled with cash – cash handling was expensive, as well as inconvenient and time-consuming process for passengers and train conductors.
- Solution availability for as many customers as possible.
- Solution and its management transparency and simplicity.
Obviously, it was impossible to attain such ambitious objectives with traditional methods (improve the effectiveness of existing processes; greater automation, etc.). Thus, another solution, which helped to improve the level of the service, was elaborated on ideologically new basis.
Besides the ID-card use, implementation of a regular card solution was also taken into consideration, because there was no particular understanding of the spread of ID-cards or whether passengers preferred to use it.
The analysis of the processes revealed that in order to achieve the objectives, it is necessary to have a solution, where most of the passengers would no longer spend time on paying for the tickets in the train. The only user friendly alternative to resolve this situation was to create a convenient credit option for passengers. Realization of this scheme meant also new problems – it was necessary to guarantee to minimize credit risks, hedge fraud risks, etc.
Joining the loyalty program was transferred completely to a web environment, where a customer agreement had to be signed with an ID-card.
Furthermore, the regular customer loyalty program bonuses were offered to people who did not have an ID-card and passengers who had not exceeded a credit threshold. For this purpose, a customer obtained a plastic “Plusskaart” and by using it, they had to pay for a ticket on-site.
At the time of joining, a credit threshold check was automatically performed for a regular customer on the basis of Krediidiinfo AS database. Soap XLM protocol was used for that purpose. The status control of pupils and students was solved over X-way.
Regular card payment terminals with a ticket sales application were used for ID-ticket sales in the trains. The card payment terminal was able to read also an ID-card. Data of customers owning a regular customer agreement was periodically synchronized through a data transmission network to all card payment terminals. It enabled the ID-card based customer status control also without a network connection. Customers owning a regular customer agreement did not go through a real payment process in the train. Their purchases were registered in the system and the customer paid for it at the beginning of the following month, when they received a proforma invoice for all the journeys made in the past month. Tickets that were bought at Edelaraudtee web environment could also be linked to a credit account, making a web based shopping fast and convenient.
Customer’s credit risk was hedged by the following points:
- A customer’s credit capacity analysis was performed through Krediidiinfo AS database before an agreement conclusion.
- There were agreement conditions, which allowed an immediate implementation of enforcement proceedings in order to collect debts from overdue customers.
- An overdue customer could not hereafter buy tickets until they had paid off the debt.
Due to the deep-laid processes, there were very few problems and they were solved quickly.
Realization of the entire solution required the following activities:
- Thorough consideration and fixation of business processes in cooperation with Edelaraudtee. Risks mapping.
- Creating a self-service environment. It included the realization of the functionality of agreement signing with an ID-card.
- A customer’s credit capacity checking solution through Soap XLM protocol.
- Realizing a point-of-sales based sale solution. It included the realization of ID-card reading functionality.
- Undergo a testing phase. Volunteers used an ID-card to buy tickets in the train in one month period.
Full solution, from elaboration to implementation of business processes, took only four month. There were no major technical challenges – the developers had all the data in order to develop an ID-card support. Cooperation with Certification Centre went very well.
Economy, security, and simplicity for a customer
Customer benefits from the use of an ID-card:
- A free loyalty card;
- Automatic regular customer bonuses;
- An opportunity to log in to a simple and secure self-service environment;
- An opportunity to digitally sign a regular customer agreement quickly by themselves;
- Fast, simple and secure personal identification at on-site ticket sales;
- An opportunity to buy tickets quickly and conveniently in the train.
Economy, security and simplicity for Edelaraudtee AS
Benefits for the company from the ID-ticket implementation:
- A customer friendly loyalty program;
- Greater customer numbers and ticket sales capacity;
- Secure company’s credit logic; (turvalise ettevõtte krediidiloogika)
- Greater customer relationship management capacity due to e-self-service environment 3x;
- A user friendly ticket forming for train conductors;
- A recognizable decrease of cash handling in the trains.
An ID-card solved both company’s and passengers’ needs in the maximum way. Furthermore, an ID-card granted the solution a high security level, without which the credit solution on ticket issuance would have been very risky.
The ID-card based solution was received well by customers.
Usage was relatively low in 2011. But, by the end of 2012 Edelaraudtee train tickets sales volume had increased at least 10% compared to the previous years.
All in all, the number of passengers who used an ID-card for buying tickets greatly exceeded the forecast.