Höft & Wessel AG

EANS-News: Hoeft & Wessel revolutionises e-Ticketing in public transport (with photo)

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New Products

Subtitle: - New e-Ticketing system for check-in/check-out with NFC credit card
- High-speed boarding without prior registration
- Now passengers only need an NFC credit card

Hannover, Germany / Swindon, UK, 29/09/2011. (euro adhoc) - Long waiting times
when buying tickets on buses and trains are now a thing of the past - at least
for customers of Hoeft & Wessel: for the first time ever, the IT specialist will
provide them with a new Almex e-Ticketing system for convenient, contactless
payment by credit card without prior registration. "This super-fast ticketing
system will practically revolutionise the public transport system. All
passengers will soon need is a credit card with NFC functionality to be able to
board the means of transport of their choice immediately. What this means in
practice is boarding, holding the card in front of the reading device and
starting the journey. After holding the card in front of a reader at the end of
the journey the best fares will be calculated and charged. There really is no
simpler solution", explains Thomas Wolf, member of the Board of Management of
the Hoeft & Wessel Group, the benefits of the new system. Hoeft & Wessel
provides this exclusive comfort for drivers and passengers with the aid of
high-end on-board computers with integrated ticket printers of the type
almex.optima in the business line version (bl) and electronic validator of the
almex.smartfare series. With the new NFC ticketing system it was possible to
minimise the transaction time required for identification of the credit card or
the e-Ticket, which now amounts to less than 500 milliseconds.

A prerequisite for this is a credit card with EMV contactless functionality, an
RFID technology for what is known as Near Field Communication (NFC). This form
of payment has been offered by large credit card organisations since recently.
The e-Ticketing solution used in the United Kingdom is based on the latest and,
hence, fastest version ITSO 2.1.4, which reduces boarding times substantially.
In addition, the new system is being offered in other European countries also
with the e-Ticketing standards Calypso and VDV-KA.

On-board computers and validators use a scanning device to identify both NFC
credit cards with the functionalities MasterCard PayPassTM and Visa payWaveTM
as well as e-Tickets compliant with the British ITSO standard. This makes it
easier for passengers to use the system, prevents errors in operation and takes
up less space in the driver´s working area. Offline operation ensures very fast
transaction times since no online queries are necessary via the background
system. Each terminal receives updated blocking lists in certain cycles at
close intervals to ensure a high level of security in spite of offline
operation. This solution facilitates a very simple and fast tap on/tap off or
check-in/check-out process.

In the past, contactless credit cards provided for payment of a service at a
predefined price. In contrast, as passengers´ boarding and exiting statistics
are recorded, this means that the total fare is only determined when changing
trains or buses or at the end of the journey. Moreover, passengers used to be
required to register with the transport authorities and buy a special
identification medium to be able to use these processes. The innovation
developed by Hoeft & Wessel on the basis of credit card systems now ensures
that all passengers need to use the check-in/check-out system is their credit

Passengers also benefit from the new ticketing system when paying for tickets
and finding the correct fares: it automatically selects the suitable ticket and
the best fare. The background system enables individual transactions to be
consolidated across a period of time capable of being selected by the operator;
only once this has been done is the transaction submitted to the payment
service provider. This helps to save transaction fees. If a best-price strategy
is applied, in return the passenger can be billed with the most favourable
ticket for his usage behaviour, for instance in the form of a day ticket rather
than several single tickets.

Contactless payments by credit card ensure that the transport authorities
themselves benefit from lean, streamlined settlement processes and full service
from credit card providers: neither do they need to deal with the production,
distribution or management of cards nor with the task of receivables

A special feature of the new on-board computers with ticket printers of the
type almex.optima bl, in addition to a reader for NFC credit cards and E-
Tickets, is a slightly inclined display for card information. It is positioned
at the same level as the reader at the side of the device, making it convenient
to use and readily visible to the passenger. Moreover, persons with mobility
restrictions can reach and recognise this consolidated operating area
particularly well. Other product advantages are the system´s small footprint
and large paper supply. In developing the NFC functionalities for the kernel of
the operating system, Hoeft & Wessel was assisted by the company CreditCall
Ltd. in Bristol.

The first practical test is now on the cards: Hoeft & Wessel will be equipping
FirstGroup, the largest private bus operator in the United Kingdom, with 4,000
systems. They will be integrated into the corporate IT system, and a further
1,500 are at the planning stage.

Hoeft & Wessel still has great plans in the home market of its Almex brand:
"Now that we have reached a leading position in the bus market, we plan to
intensify our efforts in the field of stationary ticketing terminals. In the
process, in future we will also be targeting the railway market in the United
Kingdom," says Peter Aylward, General Manager of Almex UK in Swindon.

Hoeft & Wessel AG / Almex UK
Peter Aylward, General Manager
Westmead Industrial Estate
Westlea, Swindon, SN5 7AD
T +44 1793 647-931

Media section with photos: http://www.presseportal.de/pm/12945/hoeft_wessel_ag/

The Company
Hoeft & Wessel is the technology leader and IT hardware & software specialist
for ticketing, parking and mobile solutions in the United Kingdom and Germany.
Established in 1978 by the two entrepreneurs who gave the company its name and
listed on the stock market since 1998, the enterprise has grown into a group of
companies generating sales of just under EUR 100 million and employing a
workforce of 500 employees. Its main locations are Hannover and Swindon, west
of London. With its Almex business division, Hoeft & Wessel is amongst the
leading providers of ticketing and telematics systems for public passenger
transportation and of check-in solutions for aviation companies in Europe.

Pictures with Announcement:

Further inquiry note:
Arnd Fritzemeier
Tel.: +49-511-6102-300
E-Mail: PR@hoeft-wessel.com

end of announcement                               euro adhoc 

Pictures with Announcement:

company:     Höft & Wessel AG
             Rotenburger Str.  20
             D-30659 Hannover
phone:       +49-511-6102-0
FAX:         +49-511-6102-411
mail:     ir@hoeft-wessel.com
WWW:      http://www.hoeft-wessel.com
sector:      Technology
ISIN:        DE0006011000
indexes:     Prime All Share, Technology All Share
stockmarkets: regulated dealing/prime standard: Frankfurt, free trade: Berlin,
             Hamburg, Stuttgart, Düsseldorf, Hannover, München 
language:   English

Weitere Meldungen: Höft & Wessel AG

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