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Storstockholms Lokaltrafik: Travel card customization takes sustainability and profitability up a gear

Storstockholms Lokaltrafik (SL) is the public transport operator for Stockholm County facilitating the daily journeys of more than 700,000 commuters. Having issued over 2.5million travel cards they began looking for a solution to reduce the issuing and processing costs of unsustainably high numbers of card and paper-tickets.

Gemalto was already a strategic partner providing SL with contactless travel cards and personalization services, and was the partner of choice to bring an innovative card issuance to the challenge. SL has deployed AllAboutMe, a Gemalto turnkey solution to design customized travel payment cards online. It’s the first time a transport operator has launched such a program - allowing travellers to connect online to upload a personal picture to be used as a wallpaper on the card body and order their card to be delivered to their home.

Moving away from paper tickets and disposable cards

Prior to the launch of AllAboutMe, travellers were accessing transport services using paper tickets and/or prepaid access cards. For 900,000 regular travellers, over 2.5 million cards had been issued – showing that many customers were using more than one card. As travel cards are available free to travelers, they were perceived as disposable, even though they could be reloaded online or at ticketing offices. For SL it was clear: this constant card and paper ticket re-issuance was not sustainable, and they needed to find a cost-effective and innovative solution to encourage travelers to re-use their cards.

Customization drives profitability

SL has opted to phase out paper tickets and instead drive up card uptake and reloading. To achieve this goal, the company decided to boost online applications for enrollments.

Through a massive communication campaign within city precincts, SL promoted the customization as a fun and more personal way to travel in order to rebrand and remarket card usage and direct travelers to the website enrollment platform. To date, customizing cards has proven effective in encouraging cardholders to keep using their card.

From SL’s perspective, it’s a highly cost-effective solution – enabling them to save processing costs through reducing the cost of lots of individual applications at ticket offices that are much more expensive to administer than on-line enrollment at a moderate fee per customized card.

An easy and convenient solution

Serverside, a Gemalto company, provided an intuitive software interface that enables users to easily upload a personal photo on SL’s website or select a visual from their gallery and then securely order their card online. Commuters can enjoy the convenience of ordering their card from home whenever they want, which means greater comfort and considerable time saving. The new picture card service has been hugely successful, with a high adoption rate of close to 50% for online buyers, just one month after launch in February 2011.

The full-service solution from Serverside includes online purchase and web plug-in, contactless card production, image verification, secure personalization and printing, as well as delivery to the cardholder. All issuance services are performed in Gemalto’s personalization center in Sweden, to ensure commuters receive their card by mail within a few days.

"Offering our commuters a travel card that is unique to them is an innovative way to provide a more personal level of service," said Lisa Svensson, Contract Manager Card Processing, SL. "Gemalto has been providing SL with contactless travel cards and personalization services for three years and they continue to be our preferred partner for our latest innovation. Gemalto was able to set up the entire project in less than three months, which was critical in helping us to meet our stringent launch timescale."

"Gemalto is bringing a broader set of value-added services that expand SL’s card-marketing efforts,” added Philippe Cambriel, Executive Vice-President, Gemalto. "AllAboutMe bonds consumers to their card and in the transport domain, it is a powerful feature to accelerate the phase-out of paper tickets."

What is Card Customization?

  • The ability for a cardholder or card applicant to design and apply for their own card online
  • Customers choose from a gallery of approved images or simply upload an image from their own photo library
  • They use a simple design tool to manipulate the image, preview their design and submit it for processing
  • A hand off to a digital print facility does the rest

SL cards customization at a glance

  • Launched January 2011 - 3 months implementation
  • Service accessed via simple link in SL homepage - travelers go online, select a design, apply for a card and pay
  • Lost your card? Choose to pay for another or pay nothing for standard plastic
  • Future development – allow reloading of customized cards online (currently at ticket office only)

Business advantages of partnering with Gemalto

  • Technical consulting to design the entire card issuing process
  • Local personalization and production facilities
  • Expertise in e-commerce platforms and web application development
  • Successful track-record in transport and payment project implementation

Benefits for SL

  • A competitive edge for new business
  • Enhanced stickiness in the client relationship
  • Incremental perso and print revenues
  • Additional income stream – customisation revenue as well as project management income
  • Simple, low risk implementation

Read ou press release

 SL’s website

"An intuitive software interface that enables users to easily upload a personal photo on SL’s website or select a visual from their gallery and then securely order their card online."