Travel with your bank card thanks to a company from Enschede

Millions of people in our country travel by public transport (OV) each day. It is expected that the use of public transport will only increase in the coming years. And that brings considerable challenges, such as in the field of ticket control. Sigmax, a company from Enschede, helps Dutch public transport providers with innovations. For example, Sigmax made it possible to control the tickets of travellers who checked in with their debit card, credit card or smartphone.

René Bal is responsible for Sigmax’s Public Transport business unit. He is proud of this recent development, which has put the Netherlands in a leading position. Sigmax was also involved in the development of the OV chip card. René: but this card is not ideal for people who use public transport occasionally. It’s also a pretty complicated system for tourists.” So Sigmax, in collaboration with other suppliers, was asked if the system could be simplified. “In short, a central system was developed under the direction of Translink’s OVpay programme, where the payment card or smartphone grants access to all types of public transport. We now use one system for tram, bus and train.”

Sigmax chose the versatile handheld PAX A77 to inspect payment cards based on EMV (Europay, Mastercard, Visa) technology. René: “This device allows OV employees to inspect tickets, check in and out, enforce and soon even handle PIN payments in case of a fine. A unique all-in-one solution in the public transport market, where ticket controllers can do everything with a single device.” As the current OV chip card is still being used alongside debit cards, Sigmax currently supports both technologies until the OV chip card is phased out. This is expected to be in early 2025.

Smart connections

He continues: “We are continuously watching out for new developments in the market that are relevant to public transport providers and bring them together in our product. We are therefore in close contact with our clients, the transport providers. Regarding travelling with your bank card, we could use public transport providers’ existing systems as well as new technologies and payment options that companies like Apple and Google introduced (Apple Wallet, paying with your Smartphone/Smartwatch). The goal is to make travelling and ticket control as easy as possible for the users. Travellers should be able to check in and out easily, and ticket controllers should have quick access to all the necessary information. Our challenge is to make this all work and have it meet the incredibly strict payment card industry requirements.

According to René, there have been many developments regarding payment options since the advent of smartphones. “Yes, it is all happening very fast, but it is, in a way, demanded by users, especially young adults. They expect more and more convenience when it comes to paying for services. And they are an important target group, as they often travel by public transport.”

Future plans

Bal sees many opportunities for the future by combining different travel options. “Combining different modes of transportation (car, train, bicycle, taxi, scooter, etc.) to get from A to B is much more sustainable and efficient than making the journey by car alone. I also expect that at some point, checking in and out when using public transport will no longer be necessary. After all, smartphones show where you are, where you were and what you are doing. So we still have plenty of new development opportunities to explore.”

About Sigmax

Sigmax uses smart software solutions to simplify the work of thousands of professionals. Besides solutions for public transport, the company also creates software for large national and international cities regarding enforcement and parking permits. But service companies and organisations such as

Carglass also work more efficiently thanks to Sigmax, as employees always have the necessary information at their disposal through their smartphones.

Date: 24 May 2023 |

Source of tekst: Sigmax |

Author: Marloes Neeskens

Contact information

Capitool 13
7521 PL Enschede

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