A decade ago, Public Transport smartcard schemes each had their own unique specifications and a smartcard issued by one scheme could not work in other locations. The European Commission funded EU-IFM Project and now the Smart Ticketing Alliance have worked to define the business rules and requirements to allow smart ticketing schemes to interoperate and the customer to be able to use just one device to travel across schemes and borders.
The Smart Ticketing Alliance, with support from colleagues in the Americas and the Far East, have worked with the NFC Forum and the GSMA to ensure the specific requirements of public transport smartcard schemes are reflected in the latest NFC and mobile handset specifications. The STA is proud of its formal liaison with the NFC Forum and GSMA, and to see it come to fruition in the White Paper and latest press release from the NFC Forum.
The increasing use of smart phones and the transformation from classical to mobile service offers is one of the major global trends.
Compared to other sectors that have to build up mobile infrastructures from scratch, the Public Transport industry is in a unique position because current contactless eTicketing infrastructures are in principle compatible with NFC-enabled mobile devices. It is now possible to introduce mobile services based on these existing infrastructures.
This document supports the implementation of certified technical interoperability between NFC enabled mobile devices and Public Transport systems. This is achieved by documenting the way that NFC Mobile Devices are used in Public Transport and by identifying the relevant requirements on this basis.
The STA ran a successful workshop for 32 invited delegates covering Scheme Operators and Suppliers in October 2016. The changing NFC ecosystem in Public Transport was addressed by 9 key speakers. Together they looked at how to deliver interoperable NFC Solutions for Public Transport that are simple, fast, guaranteed, cheap, secure and flexible. Recent developments in NFC Standards to meet the specific requirements of Public Transport were addressed as well as the new STA Certification Scheme for Public Transport Media and Readers. Throughout the workshop, the key was that the customer may in future wish to provide their own preferred NFC contactless media and method of payment whilst the industry is constrained by its existing contactless infrastructure.
Further workshops are planned to look at different customer Secure Element solutions, Application management, and how to deliver a common customer experience across Public Transport.