Nucleus start-up achieves UK leadership in smart payments and ticketing

24 May 2011

Founded in 2005 by Nucleus, the brand + digital + intellectual property consultancy, sQuid is proof that it is possible to create a market leader from start-up in the UK – even without venture capital funding.

Both sQuid and ACT currently operate contactless smart card-based networks, and share plans to launch NFC and mobile phone-based solutions in the near future. ACT has specialised in visitor destination management systems, retail reward programmes & ITSO transit solutions for trains, trams and buses, while sQuid has focussed on its disruptive, low cost pre-pay eMoney platform for the education & retail sectors. Together, as Smart Transactions Group, they become a leader in smart payments, ticketing & rewards with more than 500,000 payments & 50 million transit transactions handled by the combined business every month.

Peter Matthews, Nucleus’ founder and Smart Transactions Group board member commented “At a time when there is considerable debate about ‘Start-up Britain’ and whether UK and European start-ups stand any chance of competing with their US peers for innovation or investment, Smart Transactions Group proves it is possible to create something valuable from nothing on this side of the Atlantic. Perhaps the brutal Darwinian reality of getting an idea off the ground here, creates fewer but stronger next generation businesses.”

He continued “ACT and sQuid have already achieved significant traction with numerous commercial deployments of their highly innovative and scalable platforms, used every day by millions of consumers. By bringing these two proven innovators together we have created a powerful new force in smart payments and ticketing.”

About Smart Transactions Group

Smart Transactions Group was formed in April 2011 by combining Applied Card Technologies and sQuid in a deal valued at $87 million. The Group is the leader in smart payments and ticketing solutions, covering education, retail, visitor destination management systems, retail reward programmes and ITSO transit solutions for trains, trams and buses.

About ACT

ACT, Applied Card Technologies, formed in 2002, is the world leader in smart destination management systems and has quickly established itself as the UK market leader in smart ticketing systems adhering to the ITSO standard being widely adopted across the UK. Its systems have been chosen for Wales, Scotland, Liverpool, Manchester, Birmingham, Kent, Yorkshire and the West Country as well as for operators including Go-Ahead Group, and others.

About sQuid

sQuid was founded in 2005 by Nucleus, the brand and innovations company, which remains a major shareholder in Smart Transactions Group. sQuid’s disruptive low cost pre-pay model enables lowest cost transactions in retail, digital and virtual commerce, bypassing expensive bank and credit card networks with its own FSA-compliant eMoney platform, featuring bank-grade security. The company was recently awarded the Best Practices and Market Penetration Leadership Award in Smartcards by Frost & Sullivan (May 2011).