Ticketing software upgrade delivers refunds more quickly and reduces paper waste

February 16, 2021

Greater Anglia has upgraded software at rail station ticket offices to be able to process ticket changes and refunds more quickly and easily and cut down on paper.

In total, 108 ticket machines have been upgraded at 61 stations as part of the train operator’s move to ‘Smart’ ticketing software.

The latest upgrade to improve aftersales, refunds and reduce paper waste were introduced following consultation with ticket office staff about how the system could work better, and agreement and funding from the Department for Transport. As a result, ticket office staff are now able to offer enhanced aftersales, which includes easily swapping tickets from paper to smart cards, undertaking changeovers of season tickets to smart cards and issuing duplicates if required, as well as being able to provide quicker refunds.

Greater Anglia’s Head of Retail Systems, Malcolm Cotter, said, “We are pleased to have brought in these changes with support from Fujitsu to help improve aftersales service to our regular commuters, including processing their refunds more quickly.

“As we are always looking to become greener as a company, we are pleased that that the upgrade includes the switching off of automatic receipt printing – customers can still request one, but it means we reduce paper waste each day too.

“It’s important that we continue to improve the functionality of our retail software to ensure that when people return to rail we are in the best position to offer convenient, flexible, greener travel options.”

Steve Powell, Fujitsu’s Public Transport Programme Lead, said: “This is a great example of Greater Anglia and Fujitsu working together to both garner support and funding from DfT but also to deliver new functionality and support for the Rail industry during challenging times. Customers and suppliers often talk optimistically about collaborative working but this is a true example of it actually happening. We look forward to working with Greater Anglia in the future.”

The ‘Smart’ project commenced in 2016, when Greater Anglia started to offer Smart season tickets, a Department for Transport funded programme aimed at making journeys across the region more seamless and integrated.

The plastic smart cards are more durable than paper, quicker to use at the ticket gates and will open up greater opportunities in the future for developments such as flexible ticketing, tailored to the individual travellers’ needs.

Originally only available online, Greater Anglia launched the option to buy Smart Card season tickets from rail station ticket offices, with support from its IT partner, Fujitsu, in 2018.