Commit ID:922c6e0599d4f9b4a2ef5b7969ab3f8dcc8b584a

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Pecunda payment system for the European Patent Office

René Hodde
February 28, 2019

The European Patent Office (the EPO) carries out searches and substantive examinations on a steadily rising number of European patent applications and international applications filed under the Patent Cooperation Treaty. In the case of European patent applications, the EPO provides the option of an accelerated search and examination procedure. The EPO is an intergovernmental organisation that was set up on 7 October 1977 on the basis of the European Patent Convention (EPC) signed in Munich in 1973. Desiring to strengthen co-operation between the States of Europe in respect of the protection of inventions. At the end of 2017, the EPO, with offices in Munich, The Hague, Vienna and Berlin, employed 6.850 staff.

The Hamburg port authority

For its employees, contractors and visitors the EPO offers high quality paid catering and vending services. EPO staff is granted special discounts and privileges for specific products at specific times. It is a generally accepted view that only the best catering and vending solutions and services are purchased for the EPO staff. This can easily be extrapolated for all services related to EPO; EPO generally wants a very high-quality service and solutions.

With this in mind the EPO sought a partner-supplier who could deliver a state-of-the-art POS and Cashless Payment system (CPS). This was executed as part of a big project to modernize, harmonize and standardize the EPO facility IT systems.

The new CPS should accept both the prepaid EPO DESfire EV2 badge (with discount & privilege credentials) as well as standard EMV banking cards for payments, for all locations and for catering and vending for all employees. And the system needed to be flexible so that changing regulations in the EU like PSD2 could be adapted and as much as possible online processing with automatic clearing & settlement to the catering, coffee and vending suppliers. First ideas included even mobile wallets for all employees and virtual account systems for clearing & settlement with direct banking interfaces.

Ximedes offered its Pecunda cashless payment system combined with the POS system from TCPOS. The Pecunda offering included the use of hybrid Ingenico payment terminals for both the EPO badge and banking cards, Touchscreen cashless top-up machines and a mobile Pecunda app for the EPO staff to manage their CPS account (balance, transactions and top up’s). Part of the offered solution was also automatic clearing & settlement of the EPO e-money between the EPO staff and the catering and vending operators.

After a thorough RFP phase with various presentations and hearings Ximedes was selected for the cashless payment system and our partner TCPOS for the POS system.

In phase 1 of the project the 8560 staff members will be serviced at about 35 POS catering points & 84 vending points. For top up’s 20 reloaders are installed. All of these end-points are smartly coupled via the Ximedes Pecunda-box to the CPS back office servers for payment- and POS management using a mobile network for payment processing. To support high availability of the catering and vending services the system has been setup to support offline mode meaning POS tills and payments can continue to operate even if the mobile network or central servers are down.

The Hamburg port authority

For EPO we will cooperate closely with TCPOS AG and the planned implementation will start in Q2 2019 and will take about 8 weeks. With the EPO offices added to the Pecunda payment system, we expect to process an extra 4.000.000 transactions yearly. A 5-years operational support agreement is part of the whole EPO deal.

It is an understatement that we are very proud that one of the biggest and leading European agencies selected Ximedes for their Cashless Payment System needs.

Cover photo by Shutterstock