The N6 is a motorway toll road in Ireland that links Galway in the west to Dublin on the east coast, a distance of approximately 148km. All toll roads in Ireland, with the exception of the M50 in Dublin, use barrier operated toll plazas.
Until recently the low-value credit and debit card payments were accepted using an outdated mag-stripe based system. Drivers now have the security and convenience of EMV contactless card readers at the N6 toll lanes with no impact to the speed of transit.
At the N6 toll plaza, all lanes, regardless of being attended by an operator or by an automatic coin machine, have the capability to accept different payment options, including:
- Electronic toll tag
- Credit and debit card payment
Speed is of the essence in any toll payment system. It minimizes bottlenecks at toll points and ensures operators can comply with strict, contractual transaction times. N6’s previous card payment system operated on magstripe technology, relying on a blacklist to reject invalid cards. Unfortunately, this did not offer the versatility or real-time authorization online options could provide.
Even with regular updates, some losses associated with declined transactions were happening. Clearly an update was needed in order to be compliant with current card acceptance regulations and customer’s data protection. However, speed and convenience could not be compromised.
The second key requirement was that the retrofit of new reader had to be carried out with minimal disruption on the lanes, causing minimal alterations to the existing cabling and network infrastructure.
How NMI Helped
N6 Concession Ltd, the operator of the toll system on behalf of Transportation Infrastructure Ireland, chose the fully online-authorized card payment solution NMI proposed, to counter operation issues and ensure compliance with PCI DSS – the security standard for credit card transaction processing. The solution includes Payter P68 unattended card readers, each offering self-service EMV contact and contactless card acceptance, and brought the system into full compliance. Installation was straightforward with the readers just bolted on to the front of the toll pay station replacing the existing devices.
The readers incorporate ChipDNA Direct – a secure, encrypted transaction protocol used to send transaction data to NMI for fast and reliable bank authorization. They are controlled by the toll charging system over an ethernet network. NMI worked closely with N6 Concession’s integration team (Deoban and Payter) and Elavon, who provides merchant facilities for the N6 toll system.
The initial installation in June 2019 incorporated eight readers and was subsequently increased to the current 14 deployed devices, once N6 Concession was satisfied with the reliability of the system.
The new payment system went live on the toll lanes in June 2019 and are currently handling over 40,000 transactions per month. Feedback from drivers has been positive with many being delighted that they can simply “tap-&-go” using either their contactless credit or debit card, or their NFC-equipped device.
N6 Concession has new insight into all the transactions through the NMI reporting and management tool, WebMIS. They can monitor all the card transactions in all lanes across the whole toll plaza, see which are receiving the most contact and contactless payments, and even check bank settlements down to individual transactions.
- N6 Concession Ltd
- The operator of the N6 road tolling in Ireland on behalf of TII (Transport Infrastructure Ireland)
- Legacy equipment was outdated and not suitable for the current life-style and growing payment
habits of the general public
- Equipment needed to be brought in line with new PCI-DSS regulation
- A solution had to allow contact and contactless transactions
- New card readers had to be easy to retrofit and connect to the existing tolling system
- Fast, secure, online authorization through the NMI payment gateway
- Payter P68 card readers incorporating NMI’s ChipDNA Direct transaction protocol, integrated by TII
- Toll pay-stations retrofitted and live in promised timescales
- Proven reliability in high volume transaction processing
- End-to-end encryption of card transaction data for unmatched security
- Fully compliant with significant reduction in costs for the end client of N6 Concession
About N6 Concession
N6 operates, on behalf of TII, the final stretch of 53 Km section of the main transport corridor crossing Ireland from East and West, connecting Dublin with the vibrant and fast-growing city of Galway, as a worldwide touristic destination which attract thousands of foreign tourists every year from around the world, who do not always have cash and need to use their cards.
With the solution implemented in collaboration with NMI, N6 continues with its record of pioneering achievements in the tolling industry in Ireland, becoming the first toll operator with capabilities to carry out integrated online contactless card transactions.