Engineering a Fast Track Solution

at the Dublin Airport

LoyLap is working on a project with Dublin Airport Authority to provide a cashless self-service checkout for their “Fast track” service. The DAA sold Fast Track tickets online and provided a QR code on sale which could be redeemed at the airport. However they had no way to allow customers to purchase this service upon arrival if they wanted to instead.

This was a challenging and interesting project for our Engineering team due to the sheer magnitude of system usage. The average daily footfall at Dublin Airport is 81,000 passengers a day and 29.6 Million passengers per year as per the official airport usage stats. This meant that our system would be used extensively and be one of the biggest test our engineering team would face.

 

Transforming the Clover POS to a Self-service Kiosk

The challenge was to utilize the existing Clover POS devices contracted by the DAA and transform them to passenger facing self-service kiosks. Using Clover and its extensible inventory system we managed to subsume our Self-Checkout that would help passengers’ avail of Dublin Airport’s Fast Track service. This app could accept payments and print tokens that could be validated at a later stage in the passenger journey.

 

How it works?

There is an initial one time set up from the DAA’s perspective. A member of staff opens Clover’s inventory app and specifies which product they would like to sell via our Self-Checkout app by placing it in a special Category within Clover’s Inventory management. Any items in this Category would display as “For Sale” in the Self-Checkout app. Now that the app is configured, the DAA staff then places the POS in a locked-down Customer facing mode, which can only be unlocked using a unique combination that is not known to the passengers. Security authentication was necessary since the Clover Mini would be in an ‘Always On’ state.

When a passenger arrives at the kiosk (specially mounted Clover Mini display), they select the item(s) and modifiers that they would like to purchase and then proceed to pay using NFC Google / Apple Pay, or a conventional credit / debit card. After a payment is successful, a receipt is printed which contains a unique QR code granting them Fast Track access to Dublin Airport. The app then resets itself for the next customer. The entire flow takes less than sixty seconds to complete.

All transactions are stored securely and the DAA can check their end of day report using Clover’s reporting feature.

 

Engineering a Printing Solution

DAA required to limit the number of QRs sold every 15 minutes. LoyLap created an intelligent system to replenish the items stock using Clover’s API.

Our Self-Checkout app required a mechanism to monitor the print roll and display paper states such as “Low on Paper” and “Out of Paper”. In case of an “Out of Paper” event, the kiosk would temporary lock itself down until a member of staff replaces the paper roll and unlocks the device.

Our Self-Checkout app required a mechanism to monitor the print roll and display paper states such as “Low on Paper” and “Out of Paper”. In case of an “Out of Paper” event, the kiosk would temporary lock itself down until a member of staff replaces the paper roll and unlocks the device.

The default printer that comes along with the Clover Mini is perfect for Businesses who have the time and liberty to train their staff. However, the printer was not ideal for Passengers who are in a hurry to get their Fast Track tickets and do not have the time to learn how to tear off their own QRs / receipts. The reason here being that the default Clover POS printer doesn’t have a guillotine, and when not properly torn makes it susceptible to paper jam. Also, the default Clover printer does not support larger print rolls than the default paper roll. Having a larger print roll would allow the DAA to cater to the needs of a larger number of passengers with comparatively lower downtime for roll replacement.

The answer to this printer challenge was to use an external printer (a Star Micronics TSP-143LLL printer) which featured a robust guillotine, faster printing speed and houses larger print rolls thus allowing the DAA to sell more fast track tickets before running out of print rolls.

 

Scalability based on estimated footfall

The biggest of benefit of a cloud-based solutions is their ability to scale up based on requirements. Like most of our solutions our Self-checkout app is completely cloud based, which means that the DAA can choose to add/remove more self-checkout kiosks based on estimated footfall (as per travel seasons) at a fraction of the cost compared to Standard self-checkout solutions that operate independently.

 

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