As the world recovers from the pandemic, we all look forward to a return to normalcy. And while no one has a crystal ball, we can expect changes in mobility patterns. Some telework can be expected to stay, even if white collar employees return to the office. In some regions, those who have a choice have moved to rural areas, and may only return to the office for specific meetings. Monthly passes and peak-focused commuter services will not lose their relevance, but we will need comfortable, agile and intelligent mobility solutions more than ever.
On April 29, FAIRTIQ hosted a panel discussion titled: Mobile Ticketing Innovators, Check-in/Check-out for post pandemic recovery. The panel was formed of Jekaterina Cechini from BVG, Berlin, Stefan Costeur from SNCB, Brussels, Ivanka Lazinica from MVV, Munich and Gian-Mattia Schucan, Founder & CEO at FAIRTIQ, Berne and was moderated by Antoine Belaieff, Lead North America for FAIRTIQ.
A global audience attended the event, asked questions and pivoted to group discussions in wonder.me, a virtual event space.
Our favourite Questions and Answers from the panel:
Question: What led you to FAIRTIQ and how does it fit into your overall strategy?
“We want to lower barriers to access and use, and no one should have to study pricing structures. Customers should be able to simply step in and use our vehicles. Our main goal with the FAIRTIQ pilot is to learn about: technical feasibility, user acceptance, making public transport more convenient and responses to pricing. We are testing distance-based fares and a “best-price” policy with daily and monthly capping.
“What’s really important for us is to learn. That is the main focus of pilottests in general. To give some examples: we want to learn about technical realisations, user acceptance and about the potential we have, to make public transport more convenient. And this also provides us with important data regarding our tariff structure.”
“FAIRTIQ presents advantages not only to the customer but also for us. It gives us a lot of insights we can use to offer a better service to our customers, for example travel behaviour. We can also adapt our capacities through these insights.”
Question: If we provide more and more smartphone based solutions - are we not leaving people out?
“We are a public company so we cannot say “you can only pay by smartphone”. We will still offer vending machines and service points. Slowly, we will try to move customers to digital channels. We will provide better and deeper information and sometimes even a better price, if we can.”
“All of our clients still maintain alternative ticketing methods but there is a lot of downsizing going on. TPF, one of our first partners, has reduced their fleet of ticket vending machines by 40%.”
“For us it is also an additional option. So nobody is forced to use a smartphone. We also sell every ticket in vending machines and customer centres, and offer the same pricing on smartphone-based tickets as on paper tickets. Innovations such as best-pricing are an advantage to us because the customer does not have to think about at the beginning of the day how much he/she will travel.”
Question: What about fraud?
“We see a significant decrease in inconvenience-induced fraud like ‘I don’t have cash with me but I will hop on the train anyway’. Also, we use data to counter fraud. We have a dozen elements in our automated fraud scoring systems, such as measuring the speed at check-out or the likes. In short, if people try to trick the system, they can be banned.”
“There is always going to be fraud and we still have fraud today. There is fraud with papertickets, too. It is like with music. Before, a lot of people illegally downloaded music online until solutions such as Spotify came around and people say “okay I feel more safe using this and I will pay per month”. I see it the same thing with mobile ticketing. Within FAIRTIQ there is a lot of technology to prevent fraud itself. Myself, I tested it and tried to check in on purpose at the wrong station and it did not work.”
Question: What about incentives?
"We have built a BONUS programme into our project: After the fourth trip of the month, passengers are credited 10% of their public transport spend for that month, which they can then use to cover their travel costs over the subsequent months. We are looking to expand this customer reward system in order to attract new users while encouraging existing users to travel with us more."
- Find out more on the speakers and event schedule here.
- Watch the whole panel here.
- Take part in our survey on fares and fare collection and we will share the final results with you afterwards.
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