The National Transport Authority (NTA) is responsible for providing an Integrated Ticketing System (ITS) that allows passengers to travel seamlessly among different modes of public transport using a single smart card. Transport operators include Irish Rail, Dublin Bus, Luas, DART, Bus Éireann and multiple commercial bus operators.
In 2010, seeking a partner that it could trust to operate the multifaceted and complex ITS, NTA turned to DXC Technology. Working with Payzone Group, DXC provided an outsourcing solution that delivered outstanding results for the transportation authority and the passengers it serves. DXC will continue to provide this level of outstanding results until May 2022.
Operating the Leap Card system
The NTA Leap Card is a reusable plastic smart card that can replace paper tickets for transport in Dublin and other key locations in Ireland. NTA sought a world-class partner to operate the Leap Card system on the authority’s behalf. The partner would have to pull together the myriad facets required to operate the ITS, handling the complexities associated with the core financial process management (FPM), IT systems management, contact center and card management functions.
These include business process services for administering and processing sales and journey transactions; managing and reconciling financial clearinghouse and settlement transactions; servicing and maintaining all smart card master accounts; and reconciling general ledger and bank accounts.
In addition, the partner would manufacture and distribute the smart cards to sales networks and print personalised smart cards, as well as operate the back-office systems, subsystems and configuration data. Recognising that DXC brought the necessary industry experience, best-practice methodologies and collaborative partnership approach needed to make the system work, NTA awarded the ITS contract to DXC.
“The Leap Card is a great success, thanks to DXC expertise, experience, technology and collaboration.”
Tim Gaston Director of Public Transport Services, NTA
“The NTA’s role is to ensure that public transport services in Ireland are convenient and cost effective,” says Tim Gaston, director of Public Transport Services at NTA. “Managed by DXC, the Leap Card system is an outstanding example of convenience for customers and value for money to the state, using industry best practices and DXC’s experience, delivered through a collaborative partnership approach.”
DXC provides customer care for Leap Card Contact Center through the DXC Global Service Desk (GSD) Center based in Ireland. DXC Leixlip is home to call centers for many of Europe’s top financial and software institutions. The Leap Card Contact Center leverages best practices, systems and procedures, and offers personalised service for Leap Card customers. What ensures excellent customer service is the center’s local knowledge and understanding of the transport infrastructure in Dublin and beyond, and the nuances of dealing with the general public.
Maintaining a complex IT system
DXC manages the key ITS systems 24x7 — an environment of more than 64 physical and virtual servers. DXC partner Payzone, Europe’s largest cash acceptance network, provides more than 900 retail outlets for ITS customers to purchase or add funds to Leap Cards. The company integrated its proprietary EPOS terminals into the NTA-provided Smart Card Interface Module (SCIM) so that Leap Card customers will be able to carry out Leap Card top-ups and ticket/product purchases at EPOS outlets.
Payzone manages the relationship with the retail outlets on behalf of DXC. The Payzone call center and operations teams maintain strong working relationships to deliver quick and seamless issue resolution.
“Managed by DXC, the Leap Card system is an outstanding example of convenience for customers and value for money to the state, using industry best practices and DXC’s experience, delivered through a collaborative partnership approach.”
Tim Gaston Director of Public Transport Services, NTA
Web portal application services
DXC developed, hosts and maintains the Leap Card web portal, Leapcard.ie. This public face of Leap Card explains what the smart card is, answers frequently asked questions and provides secure, responsive, customer-friendly service. The site’s interactive functionality allows users to purchase and top up Leap Cards via a shopping basket.
The Leap Card Portal was delivered through a collaboration of DXC Ireland and DXC Egypt application development teams. The DXC Global Test Practice was heavily involved in the testing.
All transactions go through a PCI/3D secure generic payment gateway. Customers may register their Leap Cards, view journey history, claim refunds and send emails to the Leap Card Contact Center. Web features also allow the contact center and back office to see key information. Functionality provided by DXC for the contact center, back-office processing and transport includes remote operator top-ups, the ability to provide refunds, the ability to view usage history and provision of key reports.
The Leap Card Portal was delivered through a collaboration of DXC Ireland and DXC Egypt application development teams. The DXC Global Test Practice was heavily involved in the testing. Developed in .Net, the solution is functionally rich and extremely secure. Security testing was carried out using HPE WebInspect software, and performance testing was done through HPE LoadRunner. The web application is hosted by DXC enterprise cloud services and is available 24x7.
“The Leap Card is a great success, thanks to DXC expertise, experience, technology and collaboration,” Gaston says.