Frequently Asked Questions
About the Connected smartcard
What is a smartcard?A smartcard can store tickets and credit and can be used to pay for travel instead of cash.
You pre-load the card with cash and then use the money on the card to pay for your ticket instead of cash. When asked, hold your smartcard against the reader as you board the bus and the money for your fare will be deducted from your card.
What is Connected Kent + Medway?Connected Kent + Medway (Connected) is a Kent County Council (KCC) and Medway Council scheme.
Why should I get a Connected smartcard?The Connected card provides an easier and more convenient way to pay for your bus tickets. You don't need to worry about having the correct change and paying for your journey is faster than using cash.
With money pre-loaded onto your card, either manually or though , there is no need to plan travel in advance or worry about whether you have enough cash in your pocket to pay for your journey.
How much does the smartcard cost?The card is FREE but you have to purchase a minimum amount of credit when you request a card.
- Online - £10
- Auto top-up - £15
- In Person at a retail outlet - £5
How do I get a smartcard?You can apply online or you can get one in person at one of our . If you apply online your card will automatically be registered giving you access to additional features and benefits. If you apply for one at a retail outlet you can register your card online at a later stage or, if you prefer you can keep it anonymous but you will not be entitled to any refunds or protection if your card is lost or stolen.
Why should I register my card?Registering your card has many benefits. If you lose your card you can easily cancel it and the remaining credit will be saved and transferred to your new card. Registering also allows you to keep track of your balance, view your journeys and configure auto top up.
How long does it take to get a smartcard?If you apply for a card online, it will be delivered to the address supplied within 5-10 days maximum.
What tickets can I buy using a smartcard?At the moment the Connected card is a Pay-As-You-Go scheme only which means you can only add cash onto the card. This can then be used to purchase any tickets that you would normally buy using cash on the bus, up to a value of £50.
In the future we hope to be able to load actual tickets onto the card, such as a weekly pass.
Participating bus operators
The following bus operators will accept payment using the Connected Card
Using the Connected card
How do I use my smartcard?
- Advise the driver of the ticket you want to purchase
- Hold the card against the reader when instructed
- The money for your fare will be deducted from your card.
- Remove your card from the reader.
When can I use my Connected card?There are no time restrictions for using the card. You can use it to pay for any journey that you would usually pay for using cash.
Where can I use my Connected card?You can use your Connected card on the majority of buses for journeys in Kent and Medway. Park and Ride services are excluded.
Check our participating operators list below to see which services will accept the Connected card.
Which bus services can the Connected card be used on?The following bus operators will accept payment using the Connected Card
The list of participating operators will be updated regularly on the website as the scheme is extended across the county.
How do I find out about times and routes of buses?Public transport information is available online at www.kent.gov.uk/roads-and-travel/travelling-around-kent/bus-travel/bus-routes-and-maps
Can I still travel on the bus if I don't have enough money on my Connected card?You must be able to pay for the full fare using either your smartcardcard or cash. The driver cannot accept a combination of both payment types but he can top up your card in multiples of £5.
Where can I find out more about the Connected card ?There is a dedicated website for Connected Kent + Medway www.connectedkentandmedway.org
If you prefer to speak to someone in person, you can visit one of our retail outlets.
Can I use the Connected card to pay for travel on the train?No, not yet but we are working towards this.
Can I use the Connected card to pay for more than one ticket?Subject to having enough credit on your Connected card you can use it to purchase multiple tickets at the same time.
Can other family members use my card?Yes, other family members can borrow your card. You can also link more than one card to your online account, so you could get one for your children and manage their top ups online.
Where can I top up my card?There are 3 options for adding credit to your card:
- Auto Top Up - see Auto Top Up section for more information
- Retail Outlet - visit one of our where you can top up with cash or credit/debit card. The minimum value for top up at a retail outlet is £5.
- Bus - you can hand cash to the driver as you board. Place your Connected card on the reader and the credit will be added to your Connected card for immediate or later use. Only multiples of £5 will be accepted.
What is Auto Top Up?Auto Top Up means you never need to worry about running out of credit, giving you peace of mind and saving you time. Each time your balance falls below £8, your card can be set to automatically top up with a pre-selected amount. You can opt out of this service at any time.
How do I enable Auto Top Up?You can enable Auto Top Up when you apply for a card online - just select the option and value and your card will be sent out pre-configured.
If you already have a card you can register it online and then enable the Auto Top Up option and select a value.
After you make changes to your Auto Top Up settings they must be activated on your card. Present your Connected smartcard to a reader (either on the bus or at a retail outlet). It can take up to 48 hours for the new settings to be applied so make sure you have enough cash on your card to cover this period.
The minimum value is £15, up to £35. This amount will be automatically taken from your credit/debit card each time your card balance falls below the £8 threshold.
If your card is lost or stolen, it is essential you report this as soon as possible to prevent mis-use of your Auto Top Up credit. You can report it missing via your online account or by calling the Contact Centre.
Can I cancel Auto Top Up?Yes you can log in to your account and cancel Auto Top Up at any time. Your card must then be presented to a card reader (either on the bus or at a retail outlet) for the cancellation to be activated on your card. It can take up to 48 hours for the setting to be applied.
Can I still top up my credit if I have Auto Top up enabled?Yes you can still add credit to your smartcard either on bus or in person but remember if your balance falls below the £8 threshold your auto top up value will still be applied.
What happens if my credit/debit card details change?We will send you a reminder email before your credit/debit card is due to expire. We will not be held responsible for any inconvenience or charges incurred should you fail to update your details prior to the next payment.
What happens if a top up payment fails?We will send you an email asking you to remedy the payment within 3 days. If you fail to do this your card will be blocked and not accepted as payment for travel. Blocked cards cannot be reinstated and you will be required to apply for a new Connected card. A replacement fee of £7.50 will be charged.
How do I check how much money is on my smartcard?If you have registered your card online, log in to your account where you can view your journey history and remaining balance.
A summary of your opening and closing balance will be printed on your bus ticket each time you use your card.
Otherwise, you can visit one our ask for a balance reading.
How do I know my debit/credit card details are safe?
We take your privacy and security very seriously. We use high grade encryption to collect your credit card information. The authenticity of this site is verified by GoDaddy.com. Payments are handled by CreditCall, a trusted payment gateway.
I think the balance on my card is wrong?If you believe you should have more or less money on your card, telephone the Contact Centre 03000 41 99 96 or visit one of our retail outlets and we will investigate.
Problems with the smartcard
The bus has a problem reading my card?To report an issue with your card telephone the Contact Centre 03000 41 99 96 or visit one of our retail outlets and we will investigate.
In order to investigate this for you it would be useful to know the following details:
- date and time of travel
- service number and bus operator
- direction of travel
- boarding point
My smartcard is faulty?If you're having trouble using your Connected card telephone the Contact Centre 03000 41 99 96 or go to one of our to have it tested. Unless we believe the damage is due to misuse we will replace it free of charge and if your card is registered we will transfer any remaining credit.
If the card has been obviously tampered with we reserve the right to charge a £7.50 administration fee.
Replacement cards and refunds
What do I do if my Connected card is lost or stolen ?
- Login in to your account and report it as missing.
- Select block and replace card. We will cancel the card immediately and arrange for a replacement card to be issued.
- Any remaining credit will be transferred to your new card (a £7.50 admin fee will be charged for any lost or stolen cards).
- If Auto top up is enabled, it is essential that you take action to cancel the card immediately. We will not be responsible for any payments collected from your account should you fail to report a missing/stolen card.
Alternatively you can phone the Contact Centre 03000 41 99 96. An admin fee of £7.50 will be charged whether the card is lost or stolen.
Once your card has been cancelled it will not be possible to reactivate it if you find it.
If your card is not registered we are unable to cancel it or transfer any credit. You should apply for a new card in the usual way.
Can I get a refund if I no longer want to use my smartcard?If your card is registered online you can get a full refund. You will need to send us your card, together with a covering letter giving your full name, address and bank details for the refund to be transferred. Once received we will issue a refund for any balance on the card.
It will not be possible to provide partial refunds.
We cannot provide refunds for cards that are not registered.
We cannot provide refunds for cards that have been tampered with. Do not bend your card or make any holes in the card as this will affect the functionality.
Please send the required information to:
Smartcard Project Officer
Kent County Council
1st Floor, Invicta House
Connected Smartcard Team
PO BOX 441
Why should I get an online accountAn online account allows you to register your card. Registering your card has many benefits. If you lose your card you can easily cancel it and the remaining credit will be saved and transferred to your new card. Registering also allows you to keep track of your balance, view your journeys and configure auto top up.
I got my card in person, can I still have an online account?Yes, just go to www.connectedkentandmedway.org and register your card and personal details.
I am trying to apply online but it won't work.Please telephone the Contact Centre 03000 41 99 96, taking note of any error messages, and we will endeavor to investigate. Alternatively you can get a card from one of our and register your card afterwards.
I have forgotten my passwordClick on the forgotten password link on the login page, then follow the instructions in the email.
I cannot login to the websiteIf you have forgotten your password, click on the forgotten password link. For any other problems, telephone the Contact Centre 03000 41 99 96, taking note of any error messages.
Can I add more than one card to my accountYes, you can add a new Smartcard to an existing Smartcard account. For instance, you may wish to manage the top ups for a card belonging to a child.
Please note this option is only available upon initial registration of a new card by selecting the option to REGISTER CARD from within an account.
You cannot link a Smartcard to another account if it has already been registered.
Where can I get help?Call us on 03000 41 99 96
Email us at ConnectedSmartcard@kent.gov.uk
Visit one of our retail outlets.
Office hours are:
Monday to Friday 9am - 5pm (Retail outlet hours will vary)
Where can I find a retail outlet?Dartford Library
Kent History & Library Centre Maidstone
Tunbridge Wells Library