Product news

Revenue yield boosted 13% with in-app verifications

Minimise revenue risk by making sure discounted mobile tickets can only be bought and used by those you decide are eligible, as demonstrated at Brighton & Hove Buses.

10th Nov 2023

Cover image showing different visual elements of in-app verification for Brighton & Hove Buses

There are three things that are certain in life: death, taxes, and student discounts. Or something to that effect. For bus operators who want to get in on the action of enticing students on-board, the Passenger app provides the peace of mind that discounted mobile tickets are a low risk well worth taking.

With in-app verifications, our Premium customers can make sure their offers are only available to whoever they decide is eligible. It’s a simple, user-friendly process which invites them to upload proof of their student status in order to buy and use cheaper mobile tickets. We take care of the admin, leaving the operator to focus on marketing their products and raising revenue.

A Volvo B7RLE Wright Eclipse 2 bus wearing the new teal and turquoise livery of Brighton & Hove Buses
Travel easy with contactless, as advertised on Brighton & Hove’s buses

Luke Taylor-Sales, Head of Customer Experience at Brighton & Hove Buses, says, “We’re really pleased to have been able to work with Passenger on using their in-app verification service. The process is simple and easy for our passengers to use, and the authorisation often only takes a few minutes to complete.

“The revenue results speak for themselves,” he continues. “And such has been the success of this project that we’ve since rolled our child and Gatwick Airport staff verifications too – the latter being a big step forward as we only offered that product via an ITSO (smartcard) solution before.”

Brighton & Hove Buses are no stranger to embracing technology as a means of improving operational efficiency and enhancing the customer experience. That journey as a trailblazing innovator began with the early adoption of smartcards in 2011, mobile ticketing in 2013, contactless in 2018 and then flexible TOTO capping in 2019. Beginning last year, they started using in-app verifications to tackle fraud and stop non-students buying tickets they shouldn’t be using – and they were delighted by the results:

  • The sale of student tickets dropped by half, and the volume of some adult tickets grew accordingly

  • This drove a significant increase in yield: average income per trip jumped by more than 13%, to the level it should be

  • More than 25,000 students were successfully verified in the last academic year

These great results, along with similar outcomes at Thames Valley recently, demonstrate clearly that this is an investment which generates genuine revenue growth.

“We’re invested in our customers’ success,” says Greg Hepworth, Director of Product & Design at Passenger. “And it’s great to see that our product development roadmap, built collaboratively with our customers, has delivered such tangible results for a major bus operator.”

Verifications - product feature - travel simple
Customers are notified as soon as their verification is successful, so they can get travelling

Improvements in technology have meant a surge in off-bus ticket purchases in recent years. That’s great news for cutting down on dwell times and getting buses moving more quickly (and reliably), and helping drivers to focus on the most important element of their role: delivering passengers safely to their destination. To offset the risk that comes from drivers having less direct control over transactions, we’ve embedded revenue protection in the way mobile tickets are designed and fulfilled on our apps. Security features such as QR validation on ticket machines and a dynamic interface, showing a live-to-the-second expiry countdown, boarding code and animated elements, make it easy for a driver to confirm that a genuine mobile ticket has been presented.

Verification then offers an additional layer of reassurance that people can only travel with products that they’re eligible to buy and use. Automating this process takes away a potential flashpoint between customer-facing staff and service users: the driver doesn’t need to request or see ID, and students are no longer at a loss if they’ve forgotten their matriculation card at home, because their status is saved to their profile on their device. It makes the whole boarding process quicker, simpler, more secure – and more profitable for the operator.

As ever, the numbers speak for themselves. Brighton & Hove Buses have seen a hugely positive impact on their bottom line, making verification a worthwhile investment. It delivered a boost to the average fare that even an army of ticket inspectors would be hard-pressed to achieve. In just the past year, working on their behalf, we at Passenger have successfully verified more than 25,000 students attending two universities and several local colleges – giving them fuller use of the new-look app updated earlier this year.

Array of screenshots showing the new-look Brighton & Hove app in action
The new-look Brighton & Hove app in action
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