“NMI was incredibly knowledgeable from a development point of view and worked very closely and collaboratively with Elavon to bring this solution to life with speed and without disruption. It was very good to work with that partnership.” Shane Burke, Systems Manager, N6 Concession Ltd
The N6 is a dual-carriage motorway that runs from the west to east coast of Ireland, connecting Galway and Dublin. The motorway was officially completed and opened to traffic in December 2009 and was Ireland’s first city-to-city direct major inter-urban route to be completed. At 144km, it is the third-longest motorway in the country.
N6 Concession Ltd operates the 53km stretch from Galway to Ballinasloe, including a toll plaza located at Cappataggle, between junctions 15 Ballinasloe West and 16 Loughrea.
In early 2019, N6 Concession was looking to improve its customer offering, as well as achieve operational efficiencies whilst preventing revenue loss. Its card-payment system was outdated and depended on an offline batching and card-black list system, which sometimes resulted in loss of payment. Mag stripe transactions processed offline would be declined once the batches were processed.
N6 Concession was looking for a payments partner that could assist it with PCI compliance to help keep its customers’ data safe.
It also wanted to improve the ability to pay by card or contactless and therefore reduce the number of customers who pay by cash at the toll booths.
In its search for an upgrade to its payment systems, N6 Concession reached out to Elavon to provide an innovative solution. Elavon recommended its partner NMI, which is fully integrated, and the joint solution has been proven in the transport network of multiple geographies.
“From the get go, when the Elavon sales manager came onsite with the technical consultant to understand the scope, there was superb support available to us. The wealth of technical knowledge from Elavon helped us find the right partner in NMI and plan implementation. There wasn’t a technical question I asked, that they weren’t able to answer.” Shane Burke, Systems Manager, N6 Concession
Elavon and NMI worked with N6 Concession to ensure a smooth, quick implementation process with no disruptions to customers or back-office operations.
“The team at Elavon were very informative and helpful and there was great support available to us throughout the duration of the project as well as thereafter.” Shane Burke, Systems Manager, N6 Concession
The partnership solution
Elavon partnered with NMI to counter the problems being faced and allow compliance with PCI DSS – the security standard for credit card transaction processing. The solution includes Payter P68 unattended card readers, offering self-service EMV contact and contactless card acceptance, and brought the system into full compliance. Installation was straightforward, with the readers just bolted on to the front of the toll paystation, replacing the existing devices.
The readers incorporate ChipDNA Direct – a secure, encrypted transaction protocol used to send transaction data to NMI for fast, reliable bank authorisation – and are controlled by the toll charging system over an ethernet network. NMI worked closely with N6 Concession’s integration team (Deoban and Payter) and Elavon for the solution.
“NMI was incredibly knowledgeable from a development point of view and worked very closely and collaboratively with Elavon to bring this solution to life with speed and without disruption. It was very good to work with that partnership.” Shane Burke, Systems Manager, N6 Concessions Ltd.
The solution enabled the toll booths to accept contactless payments that guarantee payment even in an offline environment and reduced the monthly losses for N6 Concession to zero. The mag stripe transactions, which have been phased out industry-wide because of their increased riskiness, have also been replaced with EMV technology providing security for customers.
The trend of contactless transactions keeps growing, as customers are able to use near-field communication (NFC) devices like their phones for payment as well as their contactless-enabled cards. The pick-up and adaptation of the new payment methods was very quick, with customers being prompted by 'contactless accepted' signs when they approach the payment facility.
As well as protecting the company’s revenue, contactless payments have improved the customer service that N6 Concession can offer and has enabled it to operate more efficiently.
This added method of payment was particularly beneficial during the pandemic because, while N6 Concession was fully operational throughout the crisis, it meant it could remove toll operators from booths during full lockdown. This would not have been easy to do without introduction of this new technology.
“The N6 cuts out all the traffic and we use it coming off the ferry in Dublin on our way to Galway. It’s very convenient to have more payment options now, especially with contactless as it saves us travel time.” Nora Walsh, N6 toll user
The solution has also been well received by N6 Concession staff.
“The feedback from our staff has been great. They love it. The new solutions gives them better confidence with customer management. The added benefit in this current COVID-19 environment is that contactless reduced the handling of coins, and decreased risk to our customers and staff.” Shane Burke, Systems Manager, N6 Concession
In June 2019, the solution went live in all payment lanes and increased to the entire toll plaza, with a total of 14 NFC terminals when the pilot was complete and N6 Concession was satisfied that the solution was working impeccably. The solution is now handling an average of 40,000 transactions per month.
N6 Concession has also chosen PCI Secured by Elavon programme to help it keep its customers’ data safe and keep up-to-date with compliance. With Elavon’s PCI programme, N6 Concession is confident in the knowledge that it is protected with a reliable PCI security service behind its solution.
“The PCI Secured by Elavon programme is really intuitive and easy to go through each quarter. If we ever need assistance, it’s always there for us.” Shane Burke, Systems Manager, N6 Concession
Why Elavon and NMI?
N6 Concession chose Elavon for this solution because of the breadth of the product offering and the ability to tailor the options to its needs with Elavon's strong partnership with NMI. The payment solution addressed all of N6 Concession’s pain points, whilst achieving economies of scale and enhancing the customer experience. Elavon was able to create a one-stop-shop solution through its robust partnership with NMI and tested integrations in the transport space.
“In the end, we chose Elavon not just because of the product offering, but because of the outstanding support from a technical perspective and the customer service. The implementation was smooth and there isn’t a thing I can say that could have been done better. Elavon approached everything with a positive attitude and were ready to help every step of the way.” Shane Burke, Systems Manager, N6 Concession
NMI enables thousands of forward-thinking ISOs, ISVs, VARs and payment facilitators to shift to a new unified commerce strategy to achieve disruptive results. Its leading commerce enablement platform unifies every point of engagement – eCommerce, retail, mobile and unattended – to deliver a singular view of the customer from wherever the transactions takes place.
Processing more than $68 billion in payments a year, NMI is the driving force behind 1,275 technology partners and 131,000 merchants who are shifting to a new unified commerce strategy to put their business first, gain new value and deliver a superior merchant and customer experience.