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20 Mar 2009

Snapper now has 55,000 cards on issue with over 25% of the addressable Wellington population now choosing to hold a Snapper card as the way to use public transport and make retail payments.

The first trial of Snapper chips embedded in school identity cards is underway at seven Wellington schools. At present these cards can be loaded and used for payments as with a regular Snapper. It is hoped that by the start of Term 2 GO Wellington buses will offer age-based fares, which means that the school ID/Snapper (and a new junior Snapper which is soon to be released) will enable their holders to get child fares, including passes, on the buses.

The technology behind the seemingly small step to enable Snapper to become the one way to pay for a bus, train or ferry trip has proven to be challenging. Snapper is based on one of the world's most sophisticated and secure technologies, but adding products such as student, child or Super Gold bus fares in a cost efficient manner has required some real Kiwi ingenuity and smarts.

Snapper is now being approached by retailers who are signing up on the recommendation of other retailers that are gaining spend and reducing costs from the faster transaction times, increased foot-traffic and Snapper’s marketing. This is particularly benefiting Snapper’s deployment in Hutt Valley retail which is happening ahead of Snapper being available on the Valley Flyer buses.

In a recent New Zealand Herald article Snapper was the subject of a misinformed comment by the Chairman of the Auckland Regional Council who implied that it could not provide integrated ticketing and only worked on buses. In fact Snapper’s Korean T-Money system is currently used 26 million times a day on 10,000 buses, 350 trains, 40 ferries and 40,000 taxis reflecting several hundred operators and services. Its introduction in Wellington and intended roll-out in the Hutt has occurred with no tax or ratepayer funds.
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