October 5, 2011

GFI Genfare's ePay system ideal for small, mid-size transits

GFI Genfare will be unveiling a host of new offerings at EXPO, including its new GFI ePay, a Web-based smart-card solution that enables riders to purchase, upgrade and manage their smart fare media from their personal computer via the Internet. Designed to blend with the agency's existing Website, ePay also lets riders register their cards online.

"What it does is make this technology, which up until now has kind of only been available to large transit properties that perhaps have large IT departments, not only affordable but manageable for small and mid-sized transit properties," explained GFI's President Kim Green. "It really is a great passenger convenience."

The new system has several features, including enabling passengers to sign up for auto-replenishment, which automatically adds money to the card whenever it dips below a pre-determined amount and charges their bank account or credit card. It can also be set up by the passenger to automatically renew their monthly pass. Registered card holders can also obtain a replacement card of equal value if the original is lost or stolen

"It's basically a shopping cart-type system," said Green. "We add the software onto the transit agency's existing website and a link that would allow the passengers to purchase or upgrade fare cards. The link would then take you through a series of screens that would allow the passenger to select various kinds of products and make that purchase with a credit card."

The system also includes software for the administration of the site so the transit agency could then go in and track cards, perform customer service or whatever else is necessary to support that electronic media.

Another offering on display by GFI at EXPO will be the Limited-Use (LU) smart-card dispenser, which issues inexpensive paper smart cards from GFI fareboxes and vending equipment.

"They are nice for short-duration passes. We can also issue them on the bus, which is sort of a neat feature that not too many people offer," said Green. "We recently just performed our first large-scale installation of this system at the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority out in California."

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