The Illinois Tollway is a state agency set up to construct, operate and maintain a network of 292 miles of tollways in 13 counties in Northern Illinois, including five major routes:

• Jane Addams Memorial Tollway (I-39/I-90/US 51)
• Veterans Memorial Tollway (I-355)
• Ronald Reagan Memorial Tollway/Chicago–
Kansas City Expressway (I-88/IL 56/IL 110)
• Tri-State Tollway (I-41/I-80/I-94/I-294/US 41)
• Elgin-O’Hare Tollway (IL 390)

Since construction, the toll lanes had a mixture of Electronic Toll Collection (ECT) using a transponder or tag, manned and semi-automatic cash lanes. In Early 2017, the Illinois State Toll Highway Authority (ISTHA) awarded the contract worth $33.2m to A-to-Be for the provision of ATPM (Automatic Toll Payment Machines) at up to 270 toll lanes across the Illinois tollway network. The new ATPMs replaced legacy “coins in the basket” toll lane equipment and provide multiple methods of card and cash payments.

The requirement

When A-to-Be was designing the winning solution the emphasis was on inclusion from every aspect; there had to be support for EMV contact and contactless cards as well as magstripe, coins and banknotes. The ATPMs also had to be “double-decked” with complete duplication of facilities to suit high and low vehicles. The payment had to have harsh-environment capability since they would be expected to operate in the extremes of Chicago weather. The payment processing service needed to be fast and ultra-reliable, so as not to cause delay to drivers, and embody industry-standard data encryption to assure security. Finally, the credit card readers had to be certified with the Illinois Tollway’s designated processor.

Unattended payment solution at Illinois Tollway stop

The card payment solution

For the credit card payment elements of the solution, A-to-Be chose the Ingenico iSelf card readers and PIN Pads supplied by Ingenico distributor UCP. These were driven by NMI’s ChipDNA SDK which A-to-Be integrated into their ATPM. ChipDNA is a Windows or Linux component that runs on the machine, drives the card reader and PIN Pad, and sends transaction authorization data in encrypted form to NMI’s processing network. This all takes place in a few seconds. Currently, this infrastructure is supporting 114 A-to-Be ATPMs across the whole Illinois Tollway.

Commenting on the use of ChipDNA and NMI, A-to-Be’s Ana Silvia Santos, said, “We identified NMI as specialists in unattended payments and both their processing service offering and the terminal hardware they support were a good fit for our ATPM card payment requirements. We had excellent support throughout the software integration phase of the project, and now the project is live, we are able to track all aspects of the local card acceptance process thanks to the rich ChipDNA API in the ATPMs using NMIs reporting system.”

About A-to-Be

A-to-Be is a Portuguese-based company powered by Brisa (its major shareholder) responsible for developing and delivering solutions to mobility service operators internationally. For over 40 years, the company has provided leading tolling, traffic management, smart city, and revenue assurance solutions across Europe and the United States. A-to-Be processes over 1 billion tolling transactions and 25 million multi-service mobility transactions annually, managing more than 7 million customer accounts. For more information, visit

About NMI

NMI is a leading global full commerce enablement platform, processing more than $195 billion in payments annually. We enable payments for over 3,300 partners and over 267,000 merchants around the world and across the entire commerce ecosystem: online, in-app, mobile, in-store, unattended and whatever’s next. We’re constantly innovating in order to power the next era of payments, building in the latest technology so ISVs, ISOs, Banks and Fintech Innovators can focus on what they do best. NMI has offices in the US and UK and serves global customers.

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