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Payment orchestration increases FirstGroup’s resilience in cashless travel

UK passenger transport giant eliminates transaction outages and advances cashless and contactless ticket sales with BRIDGE payment orchestration platform  

FirstGroup has selected BRIDGE’s payment orchestration platform to achieve greater resilience and control in managing e-payment transactions. BRIDGE technology has initially been deployed across the FirstGroup’s online ticketing for UK bus travel, with plans to encompass the company’s award-winning mobile app channel and rail ticketing systems.

Around 200 million tickets and travel passes are purchased per year through FirstGroup’s online bus ticketing portal, enabling customers to avail of a wide range of advance offers and season pass savings. The portal, along with the First Bus customer app featuring new, innovative live tracking and capacity functionality, has increased both safety and convenience for customers throughout the pandemic, avoiding the need for cash and making bus travel easier for customers during the era of social distancing and beyond. Any disruption to the service is proven to create significant inconvenience for customers, who rely on the critical bus network to get to work, education, leisure facilities or shopping.

Alongside the company’s strategy to increase cashless and contactless travel, resilience and control across the e-payment mechanism are critical to delivering the company’s high standards of punctuality, operational performance and customer experience.

Dave Lynch, CIO, FirstGroup, explains: 

“Our online ticket channels are live all day, every day, with daily takings up to £1 million in ticket and travel pass sales. Through e-payments, we can reduce the cost of handling cash across the business and capture valuable data insights from the payment process, so it’s critical that we have complete control over this part of the customer journey. With cashless and contactless travel also factors in attracting people back onto public transport, we need our payment systems to be 100% dependable at all times.”

FirstGroup selected BRIDGE’s cloud-based, highly scalable and secure payments orchestration platform, designed for e-commerce sellers that process significant volumes of digital payments. Its intelligent integration layer has enabled FirstGroup to build resilience, gain more control over payment service providers, consolidate internal reporting, and enhance its ability to test new payment innovations and opportunities at speed.

Dave Lynch continued: 

“BRIDGE payment orchestration is our guardian angel; it works in the background to catch any glitches and make sure they don’t show up in the customer payment experience. It means our customers can be confident in buying online, get access to great offers and travel in cashless, contactless safety. Meanwhile, I get a good night’s sleep!”

BRIDGE CEO, Brian Coburn, said: 

“This is the perfect illustration of the value payment orchestration delivers in a high-transaction environment. When this is the sales channel that your customers rely on, you need the confidence that every single transaction will complete successfully, no matter what is happening in the background. BRIDGE payment orchestration brings this critical resilience, liberating businesses with complete control over the payment end of customer experience and access to a new source of valuable insight that supports innovation and growth.”

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