Touch-screen smart travel: Thameslink Managing Director Tom Moran tries out the new self-service Key smartcard kiosk Image Thameslink

Key Smartcards are “more secure than paper tickets”

Passengers using Thameslink at Bedford Station can now pick up a free, reusable Key Smartcard directly from a kiosk. It takes two minutes, instead of having to apply online and wait five days for a card to arrive in the post.

As soon as a passenger has a card, they can buy and load tickets onto it from a nearby ticket machine, then tap in and go.

Thameslink says that Key Smartcards save passengers time and are more secure and robust than paper tickets. Adding, that they can also automatically identify and generate compensation claims for delays.

Tom Moran, managing director for Thameslink and Great Northern, said:

“With these new kiosks, we are making it easier for customers to make the switch to the Key Smartcard. Passengers no longer have to wait to have a smartcard delivered to them in the post.

“I am delighted that more of our customers will be able to enjoy the benefits of travelling smart. The Key Smartcard lasts longer than paper tickets, and if lost, can be easily cancelled and replaced with all tickets intact.”

To get a Key Smartcard from a kiosk, passengers use the touch screen to enter their name, email and postal addresses. They are then sent an email to set up their account password.

However, they can buy a ticket on the card immediately before receiving the email.

Soon, staff at all Thameslink managed ticket offices will be able to issue the cards and sell tickets directly onto them. They will also be able transfer existing paper season tickets onto the card.

Passengers can also link a payment card to their Key Smartcard. This enables automatically-generated Delay Repay claims by email, which passengers can submit with just the click of a button. Also, Thameslink said that the Key’s Oyster-like pay-as-you-go facility, “KeyGo”, will guarantee passengers the best walk-up fare for any number of journeys made on that day.

Compared with paper tickets, benefits of Key Smartcards for passengers include:

  • More durable
  • Time-saving – no queues at the ticket office and a simple tap in, tap out
  • More secure – lost Key Smartcards can be instantly cancelled and replaced
  • Automatically-generated Delay Repay claims submitted with just a click of a button

Passengers with season tickets on their Key Smartcard can also enter a monthly draw to win back the value of their ticket.​