Epay, a division of Euronet Worldwide (NASDAQ: EEFT) and a leading global electronic payments processor, today released details of the company's role in the provision of a new $1.2 billion ($ Australian) smartcard ticketing system for Sydney, Australia's largest city.
epay is a member of the Pearl Consortium, which was recently awarded the smartcard ticketing contract by the New South Wales Government's Public Transport Ticketing Corporation (PTTC).
The consortium also includes the world leader in smartcard ticketing systems for public transport, Cubic Transportation Systems (CTS); Australia's largest bank - Commonwealth Bank of Australia; and one of Australia's largest electrical engineering firms - Downer EDI.
The electronic ticketing system will provide a smartcard solution comparable to London's Oyster system for travel on public transport in the greater Sydney region.
Grant Sheppard, Managing Director for epay Australia and New Zealand, said the company brought to the Pearl Consortium a strong retail payments network, proven experience in high volume transaction processing and relevant transport industry experience.
Sheppard stated epay would utilize the company's proven experience in electronic transaction processing, including the distribution and selling of smartcards for adult, child and concession travel. epay will also provide reload services for customers from its retail network.
"epay welcomes the opportunity to play a key role in the introduction of the smartcard system in Sydney by making it easier for customers to buy smartcards and load funds from about 2,000 epay locations including convenience stores, supermarkets, newsagents and petrol stations in the greater Sydney area," said Sheppard.
Customers will simply "tag on" using a smartcard at the start of a journey and "tag off" at the end, allowing the correct fare to be automatically calculated and deducted from the money on the smartcard.
epay already offers transport solutions in Australia, the United Kingdom and Poland. Motorists in Queensland, Australia can pay their motorway toll charges through the epay retail network as can motorists in the United Kingdom who pay a Congestion Charge for driving into London.
In addition, epay terminals in one of Poland's major cities are equipped with contactless card readers allowing commuters to add credit to their prepaid smartcards for travel on local public transport.
The Pearl Consortium is headed by Cubic Transportation Systems whose President, Stephen Shewmaker, said, "We submitted a strong bid for the Sydney project based on our unmatched presence in Australia, coupled with proven technology, experience, financial position and depth of resources. The members of the Pearl Consortium look forward to working with the New South Wales Government to deliver a world-class system for Sydney."
The electronic ticketing system will begin to be rolled out across greater Sydney's public transport network by the end of 2012.