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Payment methods: time taken by passengers and revenue split with operators (Tube, Overground, DLR)

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Dear Transport for London,

With the recent increase in different payment methods on the Tube (incl. Overground and DLR) network - I would like to review some key metrics of recent historical data, or data that may have been used when each payment method was considered for usage, where the payment method may have impacted possible revenue generation and/or the impact on the passenger experience.

'Payment methods’ in the following request should be taken to mean any valid way of paying for travel on the LU Tube and Overground networks - here is a list of the terminology I am aware of:

• Paper Tickets / Travelcards - these pass through the paper ingest device on the front of the ticket barrier.
• Oyster Card - which may have pay-as-you-go funds held on account, and/or a period travel card (e.g. monthly zones 1-2), and are touched on the card reader on top of the ticket barrier.
• UK Bank Card or Payment card with ‘Contactless’ technology - cards issued in UK by Visa, MasterCard, Maestro or American Express showing the ‘wave icon' - used at ticket barrier on the card reader on top of the ticket barrier.
• Non-UK Bank Card or Payment card with ‘Contactless technology - cards issued outside of the UK by American Express, MasterCard (with some exceptions), some Visa or V-Pay may be accepted - registered with TFL, and used at ticket barrier on the card reader on top of the ticket barrier.
• Apple Pay via iPhone - phone touched to card reader on top of the ticket barrier.
• Apple Pay via Apple Watch - watch touched to card reader on top of the ticket barrier.
• bPay (Barclays Pay) - bPay keyfob, wristband or active stickers (e.g. stuck to mobile phone case) touched to card reader on top of the ticket barrier.
• EE Cash on Tap - customers of Mobile Operator ‘EE’ can use this to pay by touching to the card reader on top of the ticket barrier.
• Vodafone SmartPass applications - customers of Mobile Operator ‘Vodafone’ can use this to pay by touching to the card reader on top of the ticket barrier.
• Other contactless phones - Other mobile phones with NFC (Near Field Communications) based, or other contactless, payment methods - including American Express, Maestro, MasterCard or Visa.

Some of the above list may or may not require registering with a TFL online account or can optionally be registered with a TFL online account. Please consider these separately in your answers - where being registered or not may affect times or revenue realisation.

If any of the above terminology is incorrect or I have missed any other payment mechanisms that could be used - please detail the errors in your response and treat this as included in the payment methods list.

My request has two main questions:

Question 1)
"Time taken” – Information sought on average times taken by passengers to pass through ticket barrier gates at Tube ticket halls, based on different payment methods used.

Question 2)
“Revenue split” – Information of revenue split for various payment methods for travel on the Tube network - to identify for every £1 spent by a passenger on the network: how much of this passes through to TFL account (and therefore into funding TFL) and how much is kept by the payment method operator (which is therefore not realised by TFL).

I will now provide more detail of each part, and guidance on how response could be presented. If one question is not answerable under the FOI guidelines, please state clearly why and which part of the response cannot be realised.

Question 1) “Time taken”...

For the time taken by passengers to present their payment method and for the barrier to be opened when successful payment method has been presented. For example: if I used my Oyster Card and presented it to the card reader the time taken would be measurable from the point at which the card reader detects my card to the point where the barrier opens to allow me to progress. I am not worried about unsuccessful attempts here. Please provide:

1a) ... average times, per payment method.

1b) ... distribution chart, per payment method. The distribution chart should show the number of milliseconds taken grouped within short ranges to allow me to see the most popular times taken.

For the time taken by passengers to make ready their payment method, present the payment method and to move through the barrier (to detection of passenger exit sensor). For example: if I used my Contactless Visa Card, issued by a UK Bank and not registered to a TFL online account, it would be from the time I am stood blocking any other passenger access to the barrier whilst I find my card in my wallet to the point where I exit the barrier (as detected by me passing the sensor at the other side of the barrier). As another example: if I aimed to use my iPhone 6 with Apple Pay, the time taken would be from the time I am stood blocking any other passenger access to the barrier whilst I ready my iPhone for Apple Pay payment to the point where I exit the barrier (as detected by me passing the sensor at the other side of the barrier). Please provide:

1c) … average time, per payment method.

1d) … distribution chart, per payment method. The distribution chart should show the number of milliseconds taken grouped within short ranges to allow me to see the most popular times taken.

For 1a, 1b, 1c and 1d: Please show over a period of 6 months to end of August 2015, or for a duration that you have data for (please state clearly the date range), or for testing carried out by TFL where actual real-world data may not be available (please state clearly the testing methodology if this is used as the source). Excel Spreadsheet or Open Office Sheet formats are fine. Where charts/graphs are presented please also provide the data behind the illustration.

Question 2) “Revenue split"

For each payment method identified, making sure to separate payment methods which where the revenue split would be different if they are unregistered or registered with TFL online accounts, provide a break down of the fare cost to the passenger and the split between revenue recognised by TFL (that which is used to fund TFL projects and services on behalf of the passengers) and the operator or operators of the payment mechanism. For example - if I used by Visa Card, issued by a UK Bank and not registered to a TFL online account, and I buy a single fare through the barriers - what proportion of the single fare is recognised by TFL and what goes to the payment method operator.

I am not interested in revenue to TFL after taxes unless the payment method has a direct tax implication - in which case please clearly define that for the payment method it relates to.

Where a split for a particular payment method is the same across any fare, or ‘capping’ procedure, please identify this clearly.

Please use your 2015 fare guide as the basis of your spreadsheets showing this information per payment method: https://tfl.gov.uk/cdn/static/cms/docume...

Should you require any additional information, or clarity on the request - please get in touch and I will attempt to do so.

Yours faithfully,

Mr A. Ogilvie

FOI, Transport for London

Dear Mr Ogilvie

 

Our ref:  FOI-1088-1516

 

Thank you for your email received on 17 September 2015 asking for
information about Payment methods: time taken by passengers and revenue
split with operators.

 

Your request will be processed in accordance with the requirements of the
Freedom of Information Act and our information access policy.

 

A response will be provided to you by 15 October 2015. We publish a
substantial range of information on our website on subjects including
operational performance, contracts, expenditure, journey data, governance
and our financial performance. This includes data which is frequently
asked for in FOI requests or other public queries. Please check
http://www.tfl.gov.uk/corporate/transpar... to see if this helps you.

 

In the meantime, if you would like to discuss this matter further, please
do not hesitate to contact me.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Graham Hurt

FOI Case Officer

FOI Case Management Team

General Counsel

Transport for London

 

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References

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1. http://www.tfl.gov.uk/corporate/about-tfl/

Lon left an annotation ()

Shouldn't the maintenance of the POMs be taken into account as well?

FOI, Transport for London

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Ogilvie

 

Our ref: FOI-1088-1516

 

Thank you for your email received on 17 September 2015 asking for
information about Payment methods: time taken by passengers and revenue
split with operators.

 

Your request has been considered under the requirements of the Freedom of
Information Act 2000 and our information access policy. I can confirm that
we do hold some of the information you require.

 

"Time taken” – Information sought on average times taken by passengers to
pass through ticket barrier gates at Tube ticket halls, based on different
payment methods used.

 

We do not measure transaction times in the way described in your request
as we cannot account for the human factors before and after presenting the
card or ticket. Instead, we are able to share the times we do measure,
which is from the card or ticket being first detected to the gate opening.

 

The latest card timings we have are as follows:

 

Oyster MiFare Classic - average 200ms

Oyster MiFare DESFire - average is 303ms

 

The individual timings depend on the product used and whether a product is
also being loaded to the card. EMV (Europay, Mastercard, Visa) average
time across all payment schemes is approximately 480ms, this includes
non-UK cards and other formats such as bPay and phone apps .

ITSO (Integrated Transport Smartcard Organisation) average transaction
time is 926ms and magnetic tickets take around 750ms to process.

 

Smart card transaction speed has been tested by using a Raisonce ProxiSpy
data scope in a test environment. We do not monitor this in the live
environment.

 

Whether the customer is, or is not, registered makes no difference to
transaction times. The other variant is that the time for the gates to
actually open depends on which type of gate has been installed. These are:

o Pneumatic gates (most commonly found at Zone 1 Tube stations)
o Electronic gates
o 2nd generation Electronic gates
o Wide Aisle Gates

The times stated above are an average across all gate types – we do not
have an analysis of the different gate types. This is because our basic
requirement is measured on customer throughput – all gates must enable a
minimum of 32 passengers to pass through per minute.

 

“Revenue split"

 

We measure the cost of revenue collection, which identifies all the costs
associated with running the fare collection scheme, including
infrastructure, staff and customer support. In recent years we have driven
this down from 14% of revenue collected to 8%, allowing this money to be
reinvested in system improvements. In relation to the specifics of card
payments, most of the cost of card acceptance is the Interchange costs,
which are standard fees charged by the payment schemes to all card
acceptors. Information freely available on the internet says that the
European Parliament voted to cap interchange fees at 0.3% for credit cards
and 0.2% for debit cards. This became law on 8^th June this year. A very
small part of the charges we pay are for the services provided by our
Merchant Acquirer, Barclaycard.

 

This service will shortly be the subject of a competitive procurement
process. In accordance with the FOI Act, we are not obliged to supply this
information as it is subject to a statutory exemption to the right of
access to information under section 43(2). In this instance section 43(2)
exemption has been applied as disclosure would, or would be likely to
prejudice our commercial interests. Disclosing a detailed breakdown of
costs would have a detrimental effect on the tender process and our
ability to obtain the best value for public money in any similar works in
the future.

 

The use of this exemption is subject to an assessment of the public
interest in relation to the disclosure of the information concerned. We
recognise the need for openness and transparency by public authorities,
particularly where the expenditure of public money is concerned, but in
this instance the public interest in ensuring that we are able to obtain
the best value for public money outweighs the general public interest in
increasing transparency of our processes.

 

If this is not the information you are looking for, or if you are unable
to access it for some reason, please do not hesitate to contact me.

 

If you are not satisfied with this response please see the attached
information sheet for details of your right to appeal.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Graham Hurt

 

FOI Case Officer

FOI Case Management Team

General Counsel

Transport for London

 

 

 

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