Source: ECR Retail
ECR Retail Systems (ECR), the leading London-based MPoS specialist, has completed ‘phase one’ of a three-year project with France’s largest rail operator, SNCF.
ECR has deployed a real-time mobile payment solution across SNCF’s entire fleet of trains in France, including the delivery of nearly 1,500 lightweight ECR Go mobile point of sale (MPoS) handheld devices.
The agreement will enable SNCF’s catering providers, Newrest Wagons-Lits (Newrest), to manage the entire sales and stock management process across all rail journeys by the end of the project. During the initial project scoping stage between Newrest, Hub One and ECR, the team successfully demonstrated that they could support Newrest’s wider payment strategy, covering payments across approximately 2,353 rail journeys per month.
ECR was selected for the project because its technology offers strong capabilities for handling mobile payments via cash and card, is designed for managing the complex nature of on-board payments within rail and because of its capability to support the wider requirements to better manage stock and business analytics over time.
Simon Pont, CEO at ECR Retail Systems said: “Technology is impacting every aspect of modern travel, from on-board entertainment and Wi-Fi to travel updates and automated refunds, and consumers are increasingly expecting an enhanced customer experience as they travel. Safe and convenient on-board payment is the logical next frontier. The opportunity to help SNCF's rail network take this important next step in their on-board retail strategy is a great opportunity for us to showcase the power of our technology in this setting, and help SNCF maximise the value from its customers."
He continued: “We understand the complicated rail retail environment, such as enabling payments at any time of day, while in transit, and accommodating various currencies, tax rates, personnel changes and technology systems. The deployment of our ECR Go devices and RailPoS software forms part of the French state owned company’s commitment to offer an enhanced customer experience across its network, both in speed of travel and customer services provided on-board.”
ECR was awarded the two-phase contract in April 2015.
Phase One: Sales
‘Phase One’ of the mobile payment project comprised the deployment 1480 lightweight ECR Go handheld devices running ECR’s flagship rail point of sale (PoS) solution, RailPos. This initial solution has enabled Newrest’s staff to carry out sales and accept cash and card payments for goods while trains are in transit, making the payments easier for passengers.
Currently, the solution provides clarity on live sales.
Phase Two: Stock management and business analysis
‘Phase Two’ will build upon this and enable Newrest to transition towards a system that automates and improves the current paper-based stock management process, and enables greater control, predictability, traceability and management of stock. This will also save time for staff, as they carry out their on-board duties while serving customers, and reduce human error.
When Phase Two is complete, the system will provide greater visibility about the state of on-board retail across the rail network in real-time. The mobile payment system will play a crucial role in supporting the business with sales management, stock control and management, and wider business analysis about on-board passenger spend and trends.
The information captured can be used to enhance Newrest’s on-board retail offerings and loyalty programmes, and play a crucial role in delivering an excellent customer experience.
In February 2017, ECR also launched the ECRGo2, the rail industry’s first fully-certified, all-in-one contactless, handheld mobile point of sale (MPoS) device.