Swift is the result of working with public transport operators to deliver smart integrated ticketing, to enable simple and seamless travel across different modes and services in the West Midlands. It is based on our rolling out of concessionary passes for the elderly and disabled using smart technology.

What is Swift?

Swift is the brand of our commercial smartcard which we have used to build our smart ticketing systems. Swift acts as a 'smart wallet' that can carry many of our different ticketing products and allow other public transport operators to promote their products and services, whilst ensuring that passengers know their card will work on any bus, tram or train in the West Midlands.

Swift Pay As You Go

Swift was introduced in October 2012 with Pay As You Go the first product. We now have a comprehensive Pay As You Go scheme accepted on virtually all West Midlands bus services and the Midland Metro.

With Pay As You Go passengers no longer need to have the exact change before they travel, the card can be shared with friends and family, and virtually all operators offer a discount compared to the equivalent cash fare. An Auto Top-Up function ensures credit never runs out. Swift is linked to a bank card so when credit drops below £10 credit is automatically added back to your card and you are billed later.

Smart Retail

Swift offers the ability to transfer purchases from an Android device directly onto a Swift card using the Swift App, so you can buy a product waiting for a bus, transfer it to your Swift Card and use it instantly.

There are also more than 100 Swift Collectors located around the region which allows customers to load their purchases made online to their card. We were the first to use this solution in this way and almost half of all purchases on Swift are made this way. In addition you can buy and top-up at convenience stores through Payzone and at Travel Information Centres.

Swift Season Tickets

As well as Pay As You Go there is a range of multi-operator, multi-modal season tickets available. Adult and child season tickets can be used on bus, rail or tram and are renewable via Direct Debit. We have delivered a multi-day ticket giving 5, 10 or 15 days of travel for use on all local bus services.

Smartcard Framework

We set a target to further develop smarter mobility, journey planning and integrated ticketless travel. To achieve this a programme was set up to:

  • Provide a wide range of easy to use and accessible retail and self service facilities offering smart ticketing
  • Get to know our customers better through 'one view' of the customer, with automatic and streamlined back office processes
  • Make commercial opportunities for developing innovative technology and with partners

We awarded this for up to ten years, recognising the investment and effort required to set up these systems and to develop partnership working with a supplier who would participate in our ongoing innovation of smart ticketing.

We can offer other improved smartcard services to customers:

  • Through a single supplier who may be directly appointed
  • Open to any public sector or private organisation 
  • Runs for up to ten years

Take Up and Next Moves

The challenge to balance between delivering the next initiative for the customer or commercial transport operator whilst ensuring a robust and fit for purpose system. We believe we have achieved continued innovation and product delivery whilst making fundamental changes and future-proofing our smartcard infrastructure.

We anticipate significant growth for bus and the Midland Metro as passengers find using a smartcard secure and convenient. We aim to roll out more products on Swift.

The next big push will be to go contactless and we are investigating how quickly it can be introduced, working with the UK Cards Association and Department for Transport in setting a standard for use of contactless in a transit environment.