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West Mids "Swift" cards - On-board ticket checks

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CheesyChips

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I have a monthy nNetwork pass for all West Mids zones inc bus, train, metro and a few days ago instead of the normal paper ticket I get sent out monthly, I received a lovely new blue Swift ITSO card with my ugly mug on the front :)

Using it on the train numerous times over the past few days I've noticed that guards performing ticket checks are just looking at the card rather than doing anything like checking its validity on a device. Although unlikely because they've only just been issued, I could be presenting a completely invalid card.

Are guards not equipped with the right tech yet to read the card data? All my journeys have been with LM. If I use a Virgin service in the valid zones, will they be able to read the card data?
 
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Timster83

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Have noticed the same with my Scotrail Smartcard. I have had it checked twice on the train with a mobile phone. I suspect it takes longer to check smartcards than the usual glance at a ticket.

Presumably if presenting an invalid card you would run the risk of a penalty fare. I suppose the risk of being checked will put most people off trying to cheat.
 

CheesyChips

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In my case the guards are just satisfied that I'm holding the card and there's nothing they can do with them so it's just a quick acknowledgment and no check.

In contrast, on the midland metro trams, they take the card, hold it against a reader of some sort and there's a bleep and a screen readout after which your card is handed back.
 

Class172

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I had a similar situation when I used the Key (LM) on my commute. My previous paper season would get properly checked whereas they didn't bother with the smart card. I can only assume this was due to the hassle of getting out the card reader (I'm not sure they have one?) and the relative infrequency of having to do it.
 
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BHXDMT

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No, we don't have technology to read smartcards yet. All we can do is check that the picture on the card matches the person presenting it.

The Avantix replacement at LM is supposed to be capable of reading smartcards, but whether that actually materialises remains to be seen.
 
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I've heard of a couple of people getting these and also heard stories of trouble with the barrier staff at New Street not recognising them initially.

I hold a monthly nTrain and I'm still on paper tickets. Does anyone know how the rollout of this is working? Is it nNetwork first and then nTrain later, or is it just happening gradually regardless of ticket type?

Oh, and also, do the barriers at New Street read them yet or are the barrier staff simply checking photos as described above?
 
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BHXDMT

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I hold a monthly nTrain and I'm still on paper tickets. Does anyone know how the rollout of this is working? Is it nNetwork first and then nTrain later, or is it just happening gradually regardless of ticket type?

From what I understand, nNetwork season tickets wholly within the West Midlands zones that are paid for by Direct Debit should be issued on Swift cards. The Swift website only lists the nNetwork ticket as available on Swift, so not sure if nTrain tickets are also being issued on Swift - I'd imagine that's the aspiration eventually. Any cross boundary products (i.e. Telford to W Mids All Zones) or those purchased by other means are still paper.
 
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sonic2009

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From what I understand, nNetwork season tickets wholly within the West Midlands zones that are paid for by Direct Debit should be issued on Swift cards. The Swift website only lists the nNetwork ticket as available on Swift, so not sure if nTrain tickets are also being issued on Swift - I'd imagine that's the aspiration eventually. Any cross boundary products (i.e. Telford to W Mids All Zones) or those purchased by other means are still paper.

I believe all the various products from the daytripper range are available on Swift PAYG now, according the the Network West Midlands website here.

If the TOC's dont have the facilty to read the cards at the moment, then customers should be advised to keep the reciept, a bit like Merseytravel advise with the Walrus.
 

mattdickinson

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I believe all the various products from the daytripper range are available on Swift PAYG now, according the the Network West Midlands website here.

What they mean is that you can buy paper Daytrippers with your SWFT PAYG balance. At present there is no facility to load any tickets onto a SWIFT PAYG card.
 
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BHXDMT

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I believe all the various products from the daytripper range are available on Swift PAYG now, according the the Network West Midlands website here.

If the TOC's dont have the facilty to read the cards at the moment, then customers should be advised to keep the reciept, a bit like Merseytravel advise with the Walrus.

Yes, apologies, was only referencing the season tickets which are being loaded onto variants of the Swift card with a photo printed onto the card itself. At present it seems only nNetwork seasons are on these type of Swift cards.

And with regards to proving things to TOC employees, the brief we had basically said check the photo matches the person and that's it... accept it for travel. Since the photo ID Swift cards are for Direct Debit seasons anyway, they should be renewed automatically (unless cancelled) and LM have told someone on Twitter that NWM pass on a list of Swift cards that haven't been renewed by DD - how true that is, and whether Revenue teams would check I have no idea.

As I say, hopefully our Avantix replacement will be capable of scanning smartcards. It should, given it's a phone with NFC capabilities...
 

sonic2009

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How are the Avantix replacements going to work with reading cards, using NFC reader etc? I wonder how they will get the chip & pin to work correctly as well, as we still have issues today with card's being swiped or keyed, seen on Saturday on Southern as the guards chip & pin stopped working.
 

BHXDMT

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How are the Avantix replacements going to work with reading cards, using NFC reader etc? I wonder how they will get the chip & pin to work correctly as well, as we still have issues today with card's being swiped or keyed, seen on Saturday on Southern as the guards chip & pin stopped working.

From what I have heard, there will be an App on the phone that we can load up and using the NFC capability it will scan the card and presumably show us some relevant data. Whether that actually happens or not remains to be seen!

Supposedly the chip and pin devices will be capable of online transactions (using the phones data perhaps?) which should stop most cards declining. The only cards that would decline then, would be ones with no available funds for the purchase. I believe that swiping/manually entering will no longer be possible so it's a case of find another way to pay or you're off!

As I say, we'll see if these things actually materialise. We're many months off our replacement yet.
 

causton

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No, we don't have technology to read smartcards yet. All we can do is check that the picture on the card matches the person presenting it.

The Avantix replacement at LM is supposed to be capable of reading smartcards, but whether that actually materialises remains to be seen.

November I have been told - down at Watford at least!

If you have an Android phone you can download an ITSO reader as an app called Smart Ticket Checker by ECEBS or something like that - which I presume is just what will be used on the Avantix replacement!
 

BHXDMT

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November I have been told - down at Watford at least!

If you have an Android phone you can download an ITSO reader as an app called Smart Ticket Checker by ECEBS or something like that - which I presume is just what will be used on the Avantix replacement!

Interesting! I'm sure LM will decide to be awkward and create a bespoke App for us to use that won't work ;)

Yeah, I'd been told October possibly November, and the staff in one of our Avantix lobbies said it had fallen back so November is probably about right! Just ready to go into the mad Christmas rush with our new machines... that'll be fun for the technologically challenged in the Conductor grade...
 

Class172

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Interesting! I'm sure LM will decide to be awkward and create a bespoke App for us to use that won't work ;)
Will that app require an internet connection; surely that could cause an issue in the more rural parts of the network if that is the case?
 

WestCoast

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If you have a newish Samsung Galaxy you're one step ahead of LM (and the others) as you can read Swift cards on the Android app. :lol:

I use it all the time and it works flawlessly.

--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
Will that app require an internet connection; surely that could cause an issue in the more rural parts of the network if that is the case?

Presumably not since the data is held locally on the card.
 
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BHXDMT

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Will that app require an internet connection; surely that could cause an issue in the more rural parts of the network if that is the case?

As WestCoast said, probably not because the data is on the chip itself.

Talking of internet connections and mobile phone coverage, what does remain to be seen is whether the machines will be capable of online card transactions using the mobile phones data. Finding yourself in an area of poor coverage wouldn't be good whilst processing cards.

I know ATW have said theirs will be, I imagine it'll be the case for all TOCs getting new machines.
 
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CheesyChips

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Presumably not since the data is held locally on the card.

If the data is held only on the card, how can its validity be linked to a successful renewal each month if I pay by Direct Debit?

I'm not being adversarial or suggesting you're wrong, I just can't work that out in my head :)
 

radamfi

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If the data is held only on the card, how can its validity be linked to a successful renewal each month if I pay by Direct Debit?

You pick up the renewal by touching the card onto a ticket gate or post.
 

WestCoast

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If the data is held only on the card, how can its validity be linked to a successful renewal each month if I pay by Direct Debit?

I'm not being adversarial or suggesting you're wrong, I just can't work that out in my head :)

You have to "collect" your renewal or top-up credit from a Swift Collector.

I only use Swift on buses and there are around 100 collectors in the WM at bus stops. An easier option if you have a compatible Android smartphone is use the app to collect your top-up.

I don't really know how it works on the rail network, can you collect your renewal from gatelines e.g. at New Street?

I am finding Swift to be confusing in what it can and can't do.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
What they mean is that you can buy paper Daytrippers with your SWFT PAYG balance. At present there is no facility to load any tickets onto a SWIFT PAYG card.

At the moment you can only buy tickets like a Daytripper with Swift PAYG on the bus or tram. It also takes a good 10+ seconds to issue the paper ticket, slower than cash. :roll:

I rarely see anyone using Swift PAYG in South Birmingham, despite the small reductions you get.
 
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An easier option if you have a compatible Android smartphone is use the app to collect your top-up.

Well, yes, except it doesn't work very well. It works fine to read the card and display balances, but not very well at all to collect top-ups.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
I don't really know how it works on the rail network, can you collect your renewal from gatelines e.g. at New Street?

Yes, that's how the nNetwork Swift cards currently being issued are renewed.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
At the moment you can only buy tickets like a Daytripper with Swift PAYG on the bus or tram. It also takes a good 10+ seconds to issue the paper ticket, slower than cash. :roll:

I rarely see anyone using Swift PAYG in South Birmingham, despite the small reductions you get.

Not just day tickets - standard singles and returns (where available) too. There's definitely a delay when issuing them but I don't think it's 10+ seconds, not in my experience at least. I'm seeing them used quite a bit in Wolverhampton. Between the Swift PAYG, the Swift OAP pass and the various other passes, I rarely see people pay cash nowadays.

The system certainly is confusing in what it can and can't do. I think this is because of the "peacemeal" way in which it's been rolled out. They're still slowly adding ticket types and capabilities. I understand the benefits of a gradual rollout but it would have been a lot less confusing if, say, they had done a beta test of all of the different capabilities and types and then launched everything all in one go across bus, rail and metro. The ideal time to do this would have been when New Street opened, but of course, they were nowhere near ready in time.
 
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boxy321

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Reawakening this...

I've just had a reply back from TfWM about the posted monthly paper tickets hardly ever working at station barriers. Blah blah, magnetic strip, other cards, bending etc... It's the mail that screws them. In response to offering to go to pick mine up from a station (thus saving them money):

I'm told all DD nnetwork tickets, including out of zone and 1st class add-ons will be on Swift by the end of the year. This raises a few questions, notably that VT guards are keen on checking tickets in 1st and a current quick glance is enough to keep them happy. Will Swift card keepers get extra attention on every journey? The current situation/solution is that the add-on ticket is grey and clearly marked 1ST.

Will the swift cards be a different colour too? I doubt it.
 
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