Digital bus ticket scheme for West of England

1 Nov 2018

A new digital travel top-up service has been launched in Bath and Bristol. Payzone and First West of England have teamed up to provide a convenient and accessible retail channel to support off-bus cash payments across its services.

Using the latest ITSO Smart Ticketing technology provided by our partners, Rambus, the new initiative  allows customers to pay for their bus tickets at any Payzone outlet in the region. Their ticket is loaded onto their smartcard at our Payzone tablet and is then ready for use on First WoE bus services across the region.

The smart cards are accepted at all participating Payzone shops within the West of England and merchants can now load bus tickets for customers using the newly launched Payzone tablet device, working toward removing cash from bus, reducing boarding times and helping to deliver a reliable bus service.

Merchants themselves will receive commission for every smart ticket sold or topped-up.

How does the scheme work for customers?

Payzone Smart Ticketing allows an entitlement to travel to be purchased by a customer using a payment method of their choice. A smart ticket or value is then loaded electronically on a microchip (smart card) rather than being printed on a paper ticket, which can then be used for travel. It benefits customers who do not need to worry about carrying enough cash or the correct change to board a bus; topping up the cards easily and making payments more efficient when using public transport.

What are the benefits and costs to retailers?

By signing up to offer smart travel card top-ups in store, merchant’s will acquire a new income stream through commission for each sale made. It will boost footfall whilst creating a more regular and loyal customer. Plus, once customers are in store, merchants can encourage them to purchase additional items, potentially increasing their basket spend.

  • Merchants will receive a commission of 0.5% on every transaction
  • Merchants pay a weekly fee of 99p per week

How to register on the new Smart Ticketing service:

Find a Payzone store near you: 


Rob Pymm, Commercial Director for First West of England said:

"We are excited to be working with Payzone to launch this new way of buying tickets for our customers. Our strategy to speed up the boarding process by reducing on-bus cash transactions depends on customers using contactless payment or buying their tickets before they board using smart ticketing.  More and more people are using their smartphone to buy tickets on our mTickets app, but for customers without a smartphone, or for those who prefer to use a smart card or cash, a visit to one of the many Payzone merchants will give our customers access to many of our bus products at a lower price than is available from the driver."

Where can the card be used?

The smart travel card can be used across Bath and Bristol and can be topped up at participating Payzone merchants across the West of England. The service has been trialed since July 2018 and is now available across the region. Take up is expected to grow massively over the coming months.