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Bus operator hits 1 million milestone for contactless payments across the North East

03 Nov 2017

Stagecoach North East has reached the £1million milestone for contactless payments across the north east, less than a year after the state-of-the art technology was launched in the region.

The local bus operator introduced the innovative payment system in December 2016, which allows passengers to pay for their travel using contactless technology, and over £1million has been spent by Stagecoach customers getting around the north east.

Following the launch ten months ago, over 221,000 contactless transactions totalling over £1.1million have been made on Stagecoach buses travelling throughout the region.

Leading the trend for the contactless payments usage are passengers in Newcastle, with over 161,000 journeys and 66 percent of the city’s customers choosing to adopt the new technology to date, followed by almost 25,000 journeys in Teesside and in South Shields, over 15,000 passengers choosing to go contactless in the past eight months.

Growth of contactless payments has steadily improved each month since the payments system went live, with contactless ticket sales in the north east increasing by 90 percent between January and August.

Stagecoach North East customers were amongst the first bus passengers in the country outside London to benefit from the new system, which allows customers to pay with contactless credit or debit cards as well as Apple Pay and Google Pay.

Dedicated ticket machines were installed on the fleet of more than 470 buses and coaches. Thousands of bus passengers a day have now benefited from the latest technology, which speeds up boarding and means customers don’t have to carry cash.

The introduction of the contactless payment system was one of the first developments implemented by Steve Walker, Managing Director at Stagecoach North East, who took up his role in September 2016.

Now after a year heading up the north east operations, Steve is delighted with the take up by customers. He said: “In this technological age, paying for a bus fare should be simple and fast, as is now the case for many day-to-day purchases. Enabling customers to use their contactless payment card on the buses removes the inconvenience of checking for cash before making a journey. 

“More and more consumers are recognising contactless as a safe and secure way to pay, which not only saves them time, but is also easy to use. It is fantastic that we’ve already seen over 221,000 bus journeys and £1 million customer transactions via the new payment system. These findings prove that consumers are positive about contactless payments and continue to embrace the technology, and we are confident that this number will increase even more.”