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Shetland islands ferry operator goes live with PDMS & STS payments solution

News Published on 29 March 2021

PDMS and STS, a leading payments acceptance software specialist, are excited to announce the launch of their joint payments acceptance solution with its first customer, Shetland Islands Council – who operate ferries connecting nine remote islands in the Shetland Islands.

One of the biggest headaches for ferry operators is the lack of reliable, fixed communication and network connections. However, they still require robust, fast and secure transaction processing capabilities.

STS’ G8 payments application integrated with PDMS’ ferry reservation and ticketing system, has been installed locally on Rugged Android PDAs acting as the point of sale. This will allow for card payments to be processed even if online connection to the acquirer is not possible.

G8 provides off-line PIN verification, deferred authorisation, forced acceptance and transaction batch processing. The inclusion of card data encryption also strengthens security, removing the risk of card details being stolen.

Merchants onboard ferries will benefit from a mobile payments solution that supports Chip and PIN, contactless and NFC payment, using the Ingenico iSMP card reader. Meanwhile, passengers will enjoy a reliable service when purchasing tickets on board the vessel as well as the potential for food, drinks and gifts during their journey. The joint solution delivers greater payment choice, an improved user experience and faster transaction times.

Neal Kelly, Director at PDMS, commented:

“Secure and reliable offline payments, when you can’t rely on network connectivity, are a key priority for our transport customers. Partnering with STS has allowed us to deliver a complete payments acceptance solution for Shetland Island Council and our other ferry customers. Processing these payments in the middle of a sea/ocean crossing is incredibly complex, but integrating our own software with G8, means merchants and passengers can enjoy seamless shopping and dining experiences.”

Bing Dai, Chief Commercial Officer at STS, added:

“This new solution draws on STS’ extensive experience and expertise gained through developing and supporting robust and secure card holder present payment solutions in the transport industry over the past two decades. Shetland’s successful deployment is a significant milestone in our renewed strategic partnership with PDMS and we look forward to a wider rollout across the British Isles in 2021.”

The Shetland Island’s Council is a long standing client of PDMS and the new on- and offline payment solution will soon be rolled out to other ferry operators in Scotland.


  • Scotland
  • Transport
  • Ferry