Meanwhile, smartphones are fully integrated into our everyday life. Customer-friendly apps can be used intuitively and lead to individual offers. According to a study of the German E-Commerce and Distance Selling Trade Association (bevh) the purchase of tickets for journeys by air, rail and bus make up 44 % of all purchases made via smartphones.
Real-time timetable information, route proposals and ticket purchase via the smartphone are a customer-friendly, easy way of accessing public transport, especially for casual users without knowledge of the timetables and tariffs.
If, however, a passenger wants the same comfortable access to the public transport in a city that he is not familiar with or that falls within another tariff region, his app from the local public transport company/association is useless. The passenger needs the app of the public transport company/association in the relevant city/region and has to set up a new customer account.
If the traveller does not want to install further apps and collect further customer accounts, he has to study the tariffs in that city/region and to pay cash. That's not really what a passenger wants to do and is far below the possible offers of a public transport company/association nowadays.
As 82 % of the Germans' journeys take place in Germany and about 50% of the travellers use the local public transport, quite a few passengers meet with the access barriers of external public transport.
IPSI consits of three parts:
Firstly, IPSI is an interoperable product service interface, i.e. an interface that enables communication between mobile ticketing systems, the IPS and local ticketing systems. Secondly, there is the IPS itself, which is a central background system communicating ticket purchase inquiries from - usally external - mobile ticketing systems to local ticket sellers.
Thirdly, IPSI is a contractual set of rules specifying the conditions for the sale of tickets amoung the participants.
IPSI increases the passenger's comfort significantly. The customer installs the app of his local public transport company/association, sets up one customer account and specifies the desired method of payment. When he travels in another city or another tariff region, he gets the correct ticket for the fourney according to the timetable information or according to a tariff product selected manually in his usual app.
Thus, the customer need not download further apps, set up new customer accounts, remember further passwords and authorise further payments.
Mobility changes fast due to the digital linking within and beyond the public transport sector. New mobility providers appear on the market. Some of them complement the existing public transport offers and some of them introduce alternative offers. To facility the access to public transport and thus to keep public transport easy and attractive, public transport companies/associations have to satisfy the customers' demands to an even higher degree.
As a digital and linking assistant the smartphone gets more and more important and has developed to the pivot of information, transactions and identification. Passengers often find tariff borders and tariffs too complicated and often they cannot or can hardly understand them. When IPSI is active, the customer does not perceive the tariff borders any more.
IPSI supports the public transport companies/associations in their effort to extend the offers of their apps and to offer their customers real cross-tariff border journeys. Consequently, public transport gets much more attractive in external regions - also to casual users, who often find the access to an external tariff system too complicated in the usual way.
As IPSI reduces the access barriers, fewer passengers have problems with the tariffs and the ticket vending machines in external cities/regions and therefore the number of (unintentional) fare dodgers is also reduced. The passenger remains a customer of his local transport company/association during the entire journey.
The systems of the participating public transport companies/associations communicate with one another and exchange tickets via the IPSI and the IPS background system. If e.g. a passenger from Cologne goes to Frankfurt and wants to use Frankfurt's public transport, he can purchase a ticket via the app of his local public transport company in Cologne (KVB), which is either product- or connection-based.
The product-based ticketing requires some knowledge of the city and the tariff. Thus, the passenger has to know which tariff product he wants to purchasefor the desired connection. In case of the connection-based ticketing the customer selects the desired connection from timetable information when he has entered the desired staring point and the desired destination and then he receives suitable tariff products.
In the background KVB's system detects that it cannot sell tickets for Frankfurt and checks the competent contact partner with the IPS. The IPS determines that the mobile ticketing system of the Rhine-Main transport association (RMV) is the correct cantact for the desired route of the passenger from Cologne and provides the desired tickt in the standard mobile ticketing layout. The Customer pays his product retailer, in this example the KVB, for the journey.
The payment of the journey is made by the customer to his contractual partner - in this example the KVB. The (((eTicket-Clearing is used to settle the mutual claims of the participating transport companies or transport associations.
Each ticket issuing public transport company/association with a mobile ticketing app can join IPSI. For this purpose IPSI has to be implemented into the existing system and connected to the IPS.
Moreover, it is obligatory to conclude the IPSI participant agreement with VDV eTicket Service GmbH & Co. KG.
IPSI is the first intercace that makes it possible for public transport companies/associations to sell publich transport ticket ti one another.
Virtually, it means that a local public transport company/association places ticket vending machines everywhere in Germany. To ensure that the participating public transport companies/associations can rely on one another and wor under the same conditions, the rights and obligations of the IPSI participants are settled in the IPSI participant agreement.
Here! These informations originates from the IPSI brochure issued by VDV eTicket Service for integration of mobile ticketing systems German-wide.