Littlepay was founded in 2016 to offer a mass transit transaction payment solution for transit operators, authorities and agencies.
It processes payments for more than 200 operators in the UK, Ireland and Europe, with tap-to-pay on over 20,000 vehicles. In 2021, Littlepay entered new markets, with deployments in Spain, Finland and the United States. Further expansion is underway with projects launching in the U.S., Finland, France and Portugal among others.
Elavon – as an acquirer – and Littlepay partnered in early 2020, at a time when mass transit across the globe was transforming rapidly, from the number of passengers using it, to how those passengers wanted to pay for it.
Since Elavon and Littlepay began their partnership, they have been able to power a number of contactless payment systems together, from point-of-tap to settlement into transit agency merchant accounts. Together, Elavon and Littlepay process more than 300,000 transactions per day. Customers include FirstGroup and Arriva in the UK and the Spanish city Bilbao’s metropolitan bus service, Bilbobus.
Littlepay CEO Amin Shayan says the partnership between the two businesses made perfect sense.
"We solve a number of problems for Elavon as part of the transit-specific transaction flows and device testing and certifications, while Elavon carries the load at the back end in terms of authorisation and settlement with the schemes.”
“We’re like the transit processing module within the Elavon platform."
With more and more passengers wanting to pay via contactless, it was essential for any solution to make contactless EMV (cEMV) acceptance simple.
Littlepay offers transit agencies a cloud-native, API-based payment gateway that acts as an integration layer for hardware and software components, without the need for expensive, end-to-end, proprietary systems. With an ever expanding list of integrated partners, public transit agencies can go to market with cEMV acceptance at much lower cost and with many more options.
Transit agencies and operators can plug-and-play a solution in weeks.
"We're continually trying to push the boundary of unification, so that the passengers can have a more seamless experience,” Amin says.
On the security front, Littlepay's fraud engine uses machine learning and automated processes with Elavon to keep loss rates as low as 0.02% from all transactions.
"What we're driving towards for customer experience is to give passengers a simple payment method, with no need to worry about all these different ways of being able to pay for public transport - and to do it all using the existing payment rails,” Amin says.
“That's the Holy Grail for us, and that's what we're working towards in the next two years."
Amin says Elavon’s track record for providing strong payment acquiring services and fast settlement in key European markets was a driver for Littlepay forming an alliance.
“With transit agencies in these regions increasingly seeking agile solutions to enable contactless fare payments, Elavon is helping us to meet strong demand,” he says.
"I think the future for us holds a lot of opportunities. We’ve just expanded outside of the UK with Elavon into Spain, and that will be the beginning of the expansion across Europe.”
"Our relationship with Elavon will only grow and get stronger, and hopefully will lead to more innovation and interesting products that we can bring to the transit market.”