Atos Origin enters consumer retail with rail ticketing website

Atos Origin has launched a new rail ticket retail website that allows all travellers to earn loyalty points that they can use towards the cost of future journeys.

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Atos Origin has launched a new rail ticket retail website that allows all travellers to earn loyalty points that they can use towards the cost of future journeys.

Called redspottedhanky.com, the site marks Atos Origin’s first venture supplying directly to consumers, as part of its Hi-Tech Transactional Services business. The company designed, built and now runs the site.

Ursula Morgenstern, senior vice-president responsible for enterprise, finance and transport markets at Atos Origin, said that the company decided to launch the website because of its extensive experience in the rail industry. For example, Atos currently provides a configurable, WebTIS online ticketing solution that is used by a number of its clients, including National Express.

Morgenstern explained: “We have a deep footprint in rail, and as part of that we have a long experience in ticketing. If you buy a ticket at a counter at some train stations or on the train, it is Atos software and hardware. For years we have been providing our clients with the solution, but with that experience we have decided to go to market direct,” she said.

Morgenstern, however, denied that Atos’ new website would rival those of its clients. “It’s complementary. Our view is we can help to drive train ticket sales for the industry. Our aim is not to be in competition with our clients – it is to provide additional revenue to us and the rail industry," she said.

Atos’s new website is part of the company’s efforts to build its Hi-Tech Transactional Services business, which focuses on the transaction-based business model – that is, charging clients for each transaction made through the technology provided by Atos.

Keith Wilman, UK CEO at Atos, explained: “The launch of redspottedhanky.com is just one example of how our business is evolving into a transaction-based model. Our customers increasingly only want to pay for the outputs that we deliver. For this reason, we expect our revenue from our Hi-Tech Transactional Services business line to double within four years.”

Although redspottedhanky.com currently only sells UK and Eurostar rail tickets, Morgenstern said that the site will sell European rail travel in the future as well.

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