ECR safeguards the future of Paris institution with mobile payment solution
In May 2014 ECR launched an on-street ticketing solution enabling tourists visiting the city of Paris to purchase tickets for some of the French capital’s top attractions from the iconic newspaper kiosks located across the city.
The solution is delivered via portable, web-enabled terminals, offering the dual capability of handling ticket sales and Chip and Pin payments from the same unit. The devices are also equipped with a built-in silent thermal printer for issuing tickets and receipts instantly to validate the transaction. GPRS connectivity also allows transactions to be processed both on- and offline.
The new solution now covers top locations including the Champs Elysées, Arc de Triomphe, Place de l’Opéra and Place St Michel and will continue to expand into 2015.
Kiosk holders have for a long time suffered from a dramatic drop in revenue due to falling sales. With newspaper and magazine sales only generating as little as 10 euros per day in certain locations, there had been increased concerns that many were facing the threat of closure. Before the project started, kioskees were on average, taking home earnings of around 1,200 euros from a 60-hour working week.
Whilst they are authorised to sell souvenirs, postcards, sweets and drinks, kiosks are restricted in terms of space and display area. The kioskees therefore needed to identify new ways to diversify the products sold at the 365 different locations across Paris.
Following extensive research, which revealed that kioskees receive up to 30 requests an hour for information on attractions, general directions and ticket purchases from a number of foreign visitors, ECR identified an opportunity to both enhance the tourist experience while offering kioskees a new source of revenue requiring minimal space. By installing the ECR system and providing a full point-of-sale display system, kioskees can be up and running and able to sell tickets within minutes of receiving the equipment.
By offering thousands of tourists a convenient and easy way to safely purchase tickets while on the move across the city, ECR has provided kioskees with the opportunity to reinvent themselves as mini tourist information centres and to act as an important payment point to passing tourists, serving customers of Big Bus Tours, Musee Grevin wax works museum, the Château of Versailles, Paris Aquarium, Batobus, and the iconic Bateaux Parisiens among others.
In addition to streamlining and simplifying the sales process for customers and staff, the devices also provide a link to head office systems, giving constant visibility of the most popular attractions and promotions. This means that for the first time, kiosk holders have access to vital information allowing them to offer the most popular promotions based on the preferences of tourists and the changing seasons.
Key benefits of the ECR system
Simon Pont, CEO, ECR, said: “The development of an on-street ticketing solution was driven by the needs and habits of tourists. The high presence and visibility of kiosks together with their need to diversify presented the perfect solution. By offering a fully PCI compliant and secure payment option for key tourist attractions across the city, we’ve been able to extend Paris’ commitment to protecting a traditional way of life.”
Erwan Dupas, a Paris kiosk holder currently using MPoS, said: “For a number of years we have found our livelihoods threatened by a shrinking market and increasing costs. ECR’s technology has given us a valuable opportunity to make use of one of the key commodities in Paris, its tourists. The technology has transformed my day-to-day business and provides a better service for visitors to the city.