In December 2012, leading European developer of mobile payment solutions Cellum launched its first complex mobile payment service in Bulgaria, named CellumPay, merely half a year after the founding of its Sofia-based subsidiary. Now, just a few months after the launch, a new announcement marks the next milestone in the company’s history.
A few days ago Vivacom – the largest telecommunications company in Bulgaria – and Cellum Bulgaria held a joint demonstration of a technology for purchasing and using e-tickets via mobile phones on Sofia’s subway lines. The mobile payment solution is based on QR codes and can be implemented in the next 7-12 months.
Stoyan Bratoyev, CEO of Sofia Metropolitan pointed out that the first positive step had been made and the technical solution had proven to be reliable. The next step to take concerns procedural decisions for bringing the solution and the current regulations of the Municipality in line with each other.
The e-ticketing service will be integrated with CellumPay, the company’s secure mobile wallet launched in last December, thus users will be able to purchase subway tickets through the application.
Access to metro stations in Sofia is possible in two ways: via season passes and via tickets. Tickets themselves can be printed on paper (single ticket) or stored electronically on smartcards (ten tickets). The proposed CellumPay solution supports both options for access via ticket purchasing. The ticket purchase is made through a special menu in the CellumPay app and can be paid for using a bank card or by way of operator billing, i.e. against the customer’s phone balance.
When purchasing a single ticket, one QR code is generated and, accordingly, when purchasing ten, ten different QR codes are generated. Ticket validation is done at entrance gates by dedicated scanners. Each e-ticket can be used only once and after validation it becomes invalid. Information in the generated QR codes is encrypted and highly secure.
The solution won’t require any registration by the customer as MSISDN recognition will be used. It will be available for the following mobile platforms:
- Android, iOS, Winows Phone (via additional functionality in CellumPay app.)
- Older smartphones and feature phones with web capability (via mobile website)
“Users can register their MasterCard, Visa and American Express cards in Bulgaria’s first mobile payment system CellumPay. They can already use their smartphones to pay for the services of numerous public utility companies, merchants, telecommunications companies and taxies – and now e-ticket purchase is going to be a great new option,” says Vladimir Buyukliev, CEO of Cellum Bulgaria.