One Smart Ticketing and Payment Delivery Platform

Any Ticket. 
Any Payment.
Any Device.

Apollo for Transit Operators

Apollo transit acts as a single platform managing multi-channel fare collection. Using ‘Cloud’ based ‘open source’ technologies, Apollo is used by operators who need to issue any ticket and take any payment from any device. Apollo is independent of the fare collection device which enables The Hub to provide better value for money. All hardware is globally sourced, locally assembled at which point the Apollo applications are uploaded remotely. The Apollo platform is proven, open, reliable, secure and currently best value in market – your mission will be our command.

Apollo Transit Solutions

The Hub delivers end to end fare collection solutions, including hardware driven by the Apollo software platform. Apollo and the engines are open to any hardware chosen and can be used to operate any networked device.  Apollo supports all of the following standard UK products referred to in fare collection.

POSTs (Point Of Sale Terminals)

POSTS are used to sell tickets pre board and on board. Whether it be ‘off the shelf’ or bespoke. The Hub and their hardware partners globally source, locally assemble and then customise the hardware required. On completion, The Hub then load a customised Apollo ‘Commander’ admin console with a selection of software engines. The core POST software services are most likely to cover:

  • Journey planning.
  • Ticket selection and confirmation.
  • Receipting.
  • ITSO for smartcard ticket load and EMV for smartcard payment reads.
  • Ticket fulfilment to smartcard, mag-stripe, paper, SMS, or barcode.
  • Cash and card payments ……
  • …..including contact & contactless EMV and mobile wallet solutions.
  • On-screen local based promotions.
Personalisation POSTs

An ITSO personalisationPOST is one that can issue the CMD device as well as load it with a ticket. The Apollo Saturn solution has actually been used to issue not only closed loop (ITSO) cards but also open loop (EMV) cards. This is a global USP with MasterCard which includes secure encoding of the chip as well as personalising of the card or device in terms of look and feel. The POST itself can be customised to include a wide range of different printers as well as card dispensers on demand. The core Apollo PersonalisationPOST services are:

  • Local personalisation and issuance of smart cards on demand.
  • Journey planning, ticket selection and any form of payment.
  • Smart card or mobile load and balance check.
  • Cash and card (contactless & contact) EMV payments.
  • Emerging mobile wallet solutions with or without NFC.
  • Location based advertisements plus promotions during issuance.
On Board ETM (Electronic Ticketing Machines)

By ETMs we are essentially referring to on board ticketing machines. The Hub has recently been requested to globally source a new range of handheld devices to perform this task. One option included the dual capability to connect via 3G/4G as well as have the same storage capacity within the device. If loaded with Apollo this would uniquely help meet ITSO certification requirements for this device.

This approach will significantly reduce messaging overload at depot and introduces a revolutionary new on-board smart ETM and validator option. This is also a good illustration of how The Apollo software, loaded onto a 3rd party mobile device, can significantly help reduce costs and develop differentiation.

Validation POSTs

We are seeing the rapid deployment of mPOS hardware for “Tap and Collect” at ITSO collection points. The Hub software can be loaded onto any of these type of Validators. They may come in the form of cheaper hardware such as wall-mounted, tablet, handheld or mobile devices. “Tap and Collect” is used for online pre-purchased tickets and for ticket fulfilment to smart card or NFC mobile. Not only has The Hub Apollo developed and integrated the loading of ITSO ticket to smart card, it has also developed a built-in solution for account-based schemes such as Pingit, thereby removing a significant amount of the existing merchant fees.

The Commander Admin Console

Core to Apollo transit is the administration console and dashboard. This is known as ‘The Commander’ and is used 24/7 for real-time remote management of any networked device, software functionality and data transfer that takes place. Any Apollo installations are supported remotely by The Commander and maintained under a service level agreement with a large number of field engineers on demand.

Apollo Is Powered By Ten Engines

The Hub Apollo platform powers ten plug-in engines that can be fully integrated in order to deliver and manage any device used to issue and validate tickets as well as accept payment – and beyond:

Spider - Device Manager

Spider ensures all components are remotely managed 24/7 and in real time.

Spider ensures passenger interactions at all touch-point devices are managed centrally. It also ensures devices are always on as well as recording transactions and enhancing the journey.

Spider can remotely manage any fare collection device, 24/7 and in real time. Some devices issue tickets, some accept payments and some merely validate them. Within these devices there are many components that need monitoring and remotely managing to maximise up time and performance.

Ticket forms range from paper to mag-stripe and 2D barcodes to smart cards or phones. Smart ticket forms are chip based and increasingly contactless , which requires new certified components to be managed by Trusted Service Providers (TSP) such as The Hub.

Spider also remotely processes all forms of payment including cash, cards, and the emerging peer to peer options such as Pay Pal, ApplePay and Pingit.

Spider integrates seamlessly with any or all of Apollo’s engines.

Snoopy - Security Manager

Snoopy ensures all data processing is secure and security standard compliant.

Snoopy is pre-certified for the issuance of both secure tickets (ITSO) and acceptance of secure payments (PCI DSS). This reduces set up costs and implementation time as well as optimising both passenger convenience and trust.

Snoopy ensures all data and devices on the Apollo platform are highly secure. Apollo is compliant with EMV, PCI DSS and ITSO for both attended or unattended fare collection. It was fully audited in 2011 by MasterCard in order to securely encode and instantly issue an EMV chip held in a mobile device. In 2015 it was also ITSO certified to balance check and load smart ITSO cards. Payment is made either by contact, contactless or any emerging payment solutions such as Pingit or PayPal. Security issues have historically been physically driven and hardware related but this is now increasingly a software issue. Snoopy uses a private public key exchange model with a combination of digital encryption and physical security for using the internet, mobile and/or contactless devices.

Snoopy integrates seamlessly with any or all of Apollo’s engines.

Payment Manager
Different sorts of payment
Eagle - Payment Manager

Eagle is a global payment portal open to accepting any form of payment.

Cash, card or emerging payments are all incorporated in Eagle. This reduces set up and payment service fees as well as maximises the passengers choice of how they want to pay.

Eagle is a payment portal which acts as a highly secure gateway accepting any form of payment as well as instantly issuing and reloading any smart payment device. It has already been used to process cash and card payments for over 10 years and has been future proofed to manage the new notes and coins being introduced in 2016. In 2007 Eagle was the first application to be accredited by the UK banks for unattended card payments. More recently Eagle has become the only application to integrate with Pingit a mobile ‘wallet’ app. The Pingit integration allows mobile payments from any fare collection device, not just the mobile phone. Finally, Apollo enables anybody to become a merchant which can reduce Payment Service Provision (PSP) fees. As a result Eagle is being used to reconcile, as well as report, on sales as well as payments.

Eagle integrates seamlessly with any or all of Apollo’s engines.

location based message manager
Location based offers
Intrepid - Location Based Message Manager

Intrepid creates and delivers on demand location based information.

Intrepid provides dynamic location based content messaging (RTI) and ensures the passenger is up to date all of the time thereby enhancing the customer journey and increasing loyalty.

Intrepid can be used to create location based promotions and special offers as well as deliver real-time information (RTI). In 2010 Intrepid integrated Visit Britain web services for a tourist fare collection system in Chester. On confirmation of the journey destination, Intrepid would automatically offer up relevant Visit Britain offers related to that destination. All Apollo connected devices can use Intrepid for their own specific location based advertising and vouchers which generate additional operator revenues and passenger loyalty.

Intrepid integrates seamlessly with any or all of Apollo’s engines.

Aquarius - Ticket Manager
Pay with wearables
Aquarius - Ticket Manager

Aquarius issues all forms of ticket from any internal or external web service.

Aquarius delivers dynamic ticketing in any form, any type and at any time allowing total flexibility in pricing to evens out footfall. This provides the passenger with better value for money and a more convenient journey.

Aquarius issues any ticket type in any form. Aquarius has its own ticket engine but can also import tickets taking a web service feed from an outside ticket issuer. Tickets have traditionally been paper perhaps with mag stripe or barcode on them.  These are now migrating to QR codes and 2D options as well as the fastest growing ticket form factor which is contactless smart cards. Examples of this are Oyster or ITSO smartcards and more recently EMV open loop contactless cards which have been revolutionising Transport for London (TfL). Aquarius is open to any smart form factor acting as a ticket token including smartphones and smart wearables.

Aquarius integrates seamlessly with any or all of Apollo’s engines.

Antares - Communications Manager

Antares continuously manages fixed, WiFi and 3G/4G connections 24/7.

Apollo requires a low signal strength to connect The Commander to any device. Keeping the passenger ‘always on’ opens up new opportunities for both passenger and operator as a result.

Antares monitors fixed, WiFi and 3G/4G connections. It has been built to ensure the reliability of connection lines between the operator and the device, whether 3rd party or in house. Depending on the chosen connection, Antares can be used to ensure that the signal strength is always at an optimal level to reduce downtime. Antares is also used to configure physical devices to gain access to Apollo and ensure firewall access. It is also being used to set up networks of Beacons or sensors as well as more traditional Ticket Vending Machines (TVM) or handheld devices..

Antares integrates seamlessly with any or all of Apollo’s engines.

Falcon - Messaging Gateway Manager
SMS gateway
Falcon Messaging Gateway Manager

Falcon acts as a gateway for SMS, MMS, text, email and encrypted messages.

Intelligent mobile messaging integrated into Apollo is key to keeping the passenger up to date and in touch at all times thereby enhancing the journey.

Falcon manages SMS, MMS, text, email and encrypted messages. Apollo, powered by Falcon, connects with devices over the air (OTA)either via mobile networks or the internet. Falcon includes an SMS gateway service which allows a computer to send or receive short message service (SMS) transmissions to or from, a telecommunications network. The Falcon SMS gateway supports media conversion from email and other formats. The Hub deployed the first commercial SMS for Vodafone in 2001 and has run the National Express coach m-ticketing system for over 8 years.

Falcon integrates seamlessly with any or all of Apollo’s engines.

Orion - Business Intelligence Manager
Orion - Business Intelligence Manager

Orion gathers, analyses and reports on any data handled by Apollo.

Orion can process real time information from any touch point that informs business decisions. These help increase productivity across the board and also personalise the passenger relationship.

Orion is focussed on gathering and analysing data. It has been built to provide the key categories of business intelligence such as:

  • Spread sheets
  • Reporting and querying software: tools that extract, sort, summarize, and present selected data
  • OLAP: Online analytical processing
  • Digital dashboards
  • Data mining
  • Process visualization
  • Data warehousing
  • Local information systems

Except for spread sheets, these are sold as standalone tools, suites of tools, components of ERP systems, or as components of software targeted to a specific industry such as transit. The tools can also be packaged into data

Orion integrates seamlessly with any or all of Apollo’s engines.

Saturn - Prepaid Account Manager
Pre-paid card
Saturn - Prepaid Account Manager

Saturn issues and acquires for both open and closed loop account based programmes.

Saturn is an account based engine that can be customised for smart ticketing which drives convenience and loyalty that increases the lifetime value of any individual passenger.

Saturn is an integrated end to end system used for account based fare collection. Orion is a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) application that sets up accounts and develops a user profile over time. In 2011 Saturn helped launch MasterCard who used Apollo to instantly issue Prepaid EMV cards. On receipt of Know Your Customer (KYC) at a TVM, Saturn was customized to set up an EMV Prepaid account with an issuing bank via an unattended personalisation POST.Saturn can instantly issue a card with full EMV entitlement in under a minute. It still remains the only solution fully audited by MasterCard for this function and has recently been re-engineered for on demand ITSO personalisation and issuance.

Saturn integrates seamlessly with any or all of Apollo’s engines.

Challenger - Added Value Manager
Car Park Barrier
Challenger - Added Value Manager

Challenger is an added value portal used to enhance the core business offer i.e. the overall passenger experience not just the A to B journey.

Apollo has the ability via the Challenger engine, to plug in any related feed e.g. car parking, retail offers etc enhances the full end to end customer journey over and above the transit element.

Challenger acts as an open engine for any idea and web service that may enhance the overall customer journey. This may well be in ways we perhaps have yet to imagine as operators are being encouraged to look beyond the physical A to B journey. Challenger has been deliberately set up to help them trial these new ideas.

As an example The Hub was asked by APT skidata to customise Challenger and integrate it with an Automated Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) solution called Plato Pay. Challenger is now also being used by the company to integrate a Park and Ride application. Challenger can now be used to operate single devices that issue and load both smart car parking as well as bus tickets from the same kiosk using the Apollo platform. This is an example of how The Hub and Apollo can save hardware costs and make the customer journey faster and more convenient.

The Hub welcomes any challenge from any transit operator to enhance their customer journey in new and innovative ways.

Challenger integrates seamlessly with any or all of Apollo’s engines.

We invite you to trial your own products and services on apollo and on any device. All you need to do is provide us with a web service feed - we’ll do the rest...

Call Sam Rudder (CEO) on +44(0)20 3008 6269

Email Sam

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The Hub is in Hammersmith Grove, Hammersmith, close to the Great West Road (A4) which provides good access to Central London, Heathrow, M4 and M25. 

The Hub

12 Hammersmith Grove  London  W6 7AP