Slide background
  • Transport Card Forum

    The Transport Card Forum (TCF) was established by Smartex in 1997 at the request of the UK Department for Transport (DfT). It is a membership-based association open to all who are involved professionally with transport applications of smart cards and other smart customer media within the UK. The TCF is a forum where members and delegates from the public and private sector meet for discussion and mutual education relating to smart ticketing, smart payment, journey management and reporting, and to the underlying technologies supporting such applications.

    Originally established to assist in enabling the implementation of integrated transport policies as set out in the 1998 UK government Integrated Transport White Paper, its role has been updated and strengthened with the publishing in 2009 of a specific government strategy for smart and integrated ticketing on public transport in England. There have been parallel developments in Wales and Scotland. The TCF meets in plenary sessions 4 times per year. Much of its work is carried out in Working Groups which address issues of the moment and report back to the TCF, often with recommendations for the DfT to consider.

    What our members say: “Everyone who’s anyone in the transport industry is a member of The Transport Card Forum.” Mel Pashley, Ecebs “The Transport Card Forum is uniquely valuable as it delivers instant access to the sector leaders and their wide-ranging knowledge. The Forum is tremendously useful for the DfT as it represents stakeholders in smart cards and in many related areas such as e-payment.” Eric Sampson, formerly Director of Vehicle Telematics, DfT

  • 2017 Meetings

    Smartex Forum meetings, whilst planned in advance in terms of overall themes, are designed to cover important topics of the moment, whether technical or operational.

    A number of subject areas have already been identified as being relevant for consideration and debate during 2017.  These are set out below, within each of our Forums.  They are naturally subject to change, depending upon the status of the various market sectors at the time of the meetings.

    The TCF meets quarterly.  Meeting subjects are selected by the TCF Steering Group.  Amongst the topics and activities that we are likely to be addressing are:

    • Updates from the DfT for current and proposed smart ticketing and payment strategies
    • Establishment of TCF Working Groups for analysis and recommendations on topical issues
    • The continuing development of NFC and use of NFC-enabled mobiles for transport applications such as ticketing, boarding cards and payment
    • Monitoring of initiatives and plans for commercial smart ticketing and payment
    • Smart ticketing and payments for rail and bus
    • Developing effective Real-Time-Information systems
    • Overview of smart technology for air and sea travel
    • Exposing relevant technical issues, for example for bus exit reading and ungated train stations
    • Using tokenisation technology to improve security
    • Pay-As-You-Go in urban areas
    • Updates on the progress of the ITSO specification and of ITSO Limited activities
    • Examination of processes required in moving between ITSO versions
    • Contactless card technology relevant to smart ticketing and payment
    • Do UK transport operators really want interoperability?
    • Migration from proprietary smart ticketing to ITSO, or mixing them?
    • Development of costing models for the real price of operating an ITSO scheme
    • How to educate buyers as to the real impact of ITSO and EMV on product development
    • Improving the whole-journey experience with smart technology
    • Assessment of winners and losers in the transport contactless payment arena
    • Case studies from UK LA-controlled and commercial smart transport scheme operators
    • Case studies from overseas smart transport initiatives
    • TCF17: Leeds selected for annual two-day regional conference and exhibition


    Meeting Agendas and Dates

    • For 2017 meeting dates and agendas please click here.
  • Smartex’s annual two-day Conference & Exhibition for the Transport Card Forum

     “Smart Transport for the New Generation”

    Kindly supported by Transport for the West Midlands

    25th & 26th September 2017

    Birmingham Council House, Waterloo St, Birmingham B1 1BB

    Following last September’s successful event with Transport for the North in Leeds, we are delighted to invite you to this special two-day TCF meeting, supported by Transport for the West Midlands (TfWM), which this time will have as its main theme the development of smart transport systems that will meet young people's needs and expectations.  We shall be bringing together transport operators, consultants, suppliers, Local Government Authorities and other industry specialists to learn about and debate the current status, challenges and future plans affecting the smart transport landscape, with a particular emphasis on the West Midlands.

    As always, the Conference will be supported and enriched by our sponsors and other exhibitors, including Euclid, ITSO, CreditcallCammax, INIT, Parkeon, ESP Group, Smartrac, ACT, Rambus, The Hub Company, Multipass, Vocalink and Burall Infosmart a BBP Company, who will be demonstrating and explaining their latest products and services for this sector, and whose generosity permits Smartex to offer free attendance to non-member transport operators and Local Government bodies with transport schemes.


    • Transport Operators (FREE, terms apply, see below)
    • Local Authorities (FREE, terms apply, see below)
    • Product and Service Suppliers (terms apply, see below)
    • Anyone with an interest in passenger transport and trends affecting the smart technology industry (terms apply, see below)


    • Learn from specialist speakers about the emerging strategy and tactics for enhancing the quality and spread of smart transport systems in the West Midlands and throughout the UK, particularly as they relate to the next generation of passengers
    • See demonstrations of the latest smart ticketing and payment products
    • Discover innovative technologies that will revolutionise ticketing, payment and much more
    • Network with the senior transport industry community


    Download TCF17 Agenda

    General theme: Smart Transport for the New Generation

    The conference is planned to include the following main topics, each of which will be supported by a number of short presentations:

    • Session 1 (Day 1 morning)
    • Session theme: Opening addresses and status reports
      • Where are we, and where are we going in the UK?
      • What’s happening outside the UK?
    • Session 2 (Day 1 afternoon)
    • Session theme: Innovative products and projects for tomorrow’s world
      • Account-based ticketing (ABT)
      • Scottish national e-purse
      • ITSO: moving forward for the future of smart ticketing
      • Future ticketing technologies
      • Case studies and other innovations
    • Session 3 (Day 2 morning)
    • Session theme: Developing smart transport systems for the new generation
      • Research results from Transport Focus
      • Feedback from young people
      • Modal shift to other types of public transport
      • Emerging authentication methods
      • Mobility as a Service
      • How shall we pay for using new forms of transport?
      • Pay by Bank
      • Demographics of the future
      • Supplier sessions
    • Session 4 (Day 2 afternoon)
    • Session theme: Are we going in the right direction?
      • Breakout with syndicate groups, addressing:
        • How can schemes and operators make best use of better traveller data?
        • What are the next steps towards ABT and MaaS
        • Consider the smart transit needs of young people and list the top 10 functions, features or applications that you believe would most attract and satisfy them
      • Panel session
      • General debate and Q&A

    Included within the delegate offer will be:

    • Participation at all sessions on both days
    • Access to all available presentation material
    • Refreshments on arrival and throughout both days, including two buffet luncheons
    • Cocktail reception
    • Free Wifi access

    The following are not included and, if required, must be reserved and paid for by participating delegates:

    • Overnight accommodation
    • Dinner on the evening of 25th September

    An informal evening cocktail reception, kindly sponsored by Smartrac, will be held in the exhibitor’s room on Monday, 25th September.  

    Smartex is planning its traditional informal dinner, and this will be held after the cocktail reception on Monday, 25th September at San Carlo.  Guests will be asked to pay for their own meals, and this may be done in advance with Smartex.  Any particular dietary requirements or constraints should be passed to Smartex beforehand.  

    If you require overnight accommodation during the event (24th September and/or 25th September), we have reserved rooms at the Macdonald Burlington Hotel, including a range of single and twin rooms varying in price from £121 to £136 pppn (including breakfast).  Officially, the hotel (and will tell you that they are full, so if you would like a room there, please call or Richard Poynder on 01440 712610 or email as soon as possible.

    Current Smartex members with remaining attendance entitlements for a normal TCF one-day meeting may attend free-of-charge within their membership, and this event will count as one day only of attendance, even if both days are attended.  


    • Delegates from non-member transport operators and Local Authorities may attend free-of-charge for both days
    • Other non-members may attend at a cost of £200 + VAT per day


    Registration by both members and non-members can be done online here or by email to, indicating:

    • Whether you wish to attend on 25th or 26th September, or on both days
    • Whether or not you intend to join us for dinner on the evening of 25th September


    If you have any questions, please contact Annabel Cartwright at or call +44 1440 712610. 

    If you are considering exhibiting, please contact Lawrence Faulkner at or call + 44 7717 218767.

  • TCF News

    Updated on 13th October 2017

    UK government funds new Bluetooth ticketing solution
    Intelligent Transport~
    The UK government has awarded funding to startup company UrbanThings to develop an innovative and low-cost mobile Bluetooth public transport ticketing solution. This new Bluetooth ticketing solution aims to give passengers genuine ‘ticketless travel’ ­- which will unlock the benefits of account-based ticketing – and position itself as a key component of Mobility as a Service operations.

    Masabi rolls out mobile ticketing to Transit app
    The Paypers
    Masabi has announced that Transit will integrate its SDK into the app to enable users to browse fare types, make payments, and receive mobile tickets. The company said that once an SDK agreement is struck with a transit agency, tickets will be made available to buy, store and use inside of Transit's app. The Justride SDK enables Transit to request fare types, make payments, and deliver visual and barcode tickets to a rider through a ticket wallet. The wallet communicates with Masabi servers to understand complex fare tables and manage the ticket lifecycle and security.

    Transport for London could cash in on open data expertise through new consulting arm
    City A.M.
    ... such as one with Cubic Transportation Systems agreeing a licence for use of London's contactless ticketing system worldwide for up to £15m.

    UK: Glasgow buses launch new flexi-ticket to use across different bus companies
    Evening Times
    A new bus ticket that can be used on all major companies in Glasgow is to be launched next month. The Tripper ticket is being rolled out by First, Stagecoach, McGill’s and City Bus.

    Smart ticketing – is everyone on board?
    Bond Dickinson
    Today, there are numerous alternatives – the most well-known and utilised being the use of contactless debit/credit cards to access Transport for ...

    Buses go contactless
    The Cornish Times
    The operator is the first in Cornwall to introduce contactless debit and credit card payments, and passengers can also use Apple or Android Pay to buy ...

    DfT looks at full smart ticketing roll-out by 2018 with £80m boost
    Rail Technology Magazine
    The government has set out details of an £80m programme to introduce smart ticketing across England and Wales by the end of 2018. The investment ... The investment will go towards ensuring that all passengers have the choice of travelling without a paper ticket by the end of 2018, with smart cards hosted on their mobile phones.
    (Hey, a “smart card hosted” in his mobile, and with a QR barcode.  Ed. can hardly wait.)

    Conduent Offers New Mobile Payment App for U.S. Public Transit Agencies
    PR Newswire
    Today, Conduent Incorporated (NYSE: CNDT) announced the Conduent
    Seamless Transportation System, a secure mobile payment app, is now available to public transit agencies in the U.S. and will be on display at the annual American Public Transportation Association (APTA) Expo. 

    West Yorkshire's 'game changing' multi-operator smart ticketing app released
    Intelligent Transport (press release)
    MCard, West Yorkshire's multi-operator smartcard ticketing scheme, has released an android app that customers can use to buy and then load tickets.

    Government to invest £80m in smart ticketing
    Computer Business Review
    Smart Ticketing is an operating system where a ticket is stored electronically on a microchip rather than a paper ticket, for example Oyster cards.
    (Many people are asking what, exactly, is the £80 million being spent on? And does it replace G Osborne’s promised £150 million for TfN?  Interest-Ed.)

    Free wifi, contactless tickets and USB charging on Thamesdown's new eco buses
    Swindon Advertiser
    The bus firm has unveiled its brand new buses - 13 of which will appear in Swindon this month - complete with on-board wi-fi, contactless ticket ...

    Australian PM seeks face recognition data from all driver's licenses
    Planet Biometrics
    Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is expected to pressure states and territories to hand over the driver's license photos of every citizen, for a ...

    Bus travellers to get cheaper tickets if they pay with app rather than cash
    Bradford Telegraph and Argus
    “The introduction of contactless payments alongside our success with mobile ticketing is pivotal as we continue to make bus travel a convenient, ...

    Brisbane public transit's potential use of biometrics raises privacy concerns
    Biometric Update
    A privacy group has spoken out against recommendations that the Brisbane public transportation service use biometrics to identify passengers when ...

    Hundreds of buses across Eastleigh and Fareham are to benefit from contactless payment ...
    Daily Echo
    As previously reported by the Daily Echo, the first buses ready for contactless took to the road at the beginning of June with more than 500 buses in ...

    Commuters to get smart cards to travel across country by 2018 and Network Rail to lose sole control of track network, Chris Grayling says
    The Telegraph News
    The transport secretary says that he wants all train companies to make available these Oyster-card style cards to commuters by the end of 2018. He says: “We need smart ticketing, and particularly pay as you go smart cards on commuter routes all around the country. I want that to be happening in the next couple of years.” The new smart cards will come in alongside changes to the compensation process which will see travellers paid out after a train is delayed for as little as 15 minutes, he says.

    Wirecard to link to Evopark app for German car park payments
    evopark provides a contactless smart card which can be used to make cashless payments at 70 car parks across Germany. This service is ...

    National e-purse for Scots public transport
    Transport Scotland's new smart ticketing consultation says all ticketing schemes should use ITSO, the UK standard for smart ticketing, and should ...

    The ticketing versus payment debate misses the point – what about fares? TransportXtra
    Since then it has become even easier thanks to contactless bank card payments that replicate Oyster and extend capping to weekly as well as daily ...

    UK – 'Contactless by 2019' – Transport for Greater Manchester promises improvements to much ...
    Embedded Security NewsAfter coming in for heavy criticism, Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) has admitted its new smart-ticketing system is “not yet where we want [it] to ...

    UK: Manchester travel card comes under fire
    UK Authority
    Regional watchdog claims failures of Get Me There shows north-south divide while blogger outlines series of weaknesses

    Railway parking about to get easier
    The station is one of 20 in Scotland where changes to parking payments are being rolled out, including contactless and card payment technology.




  • Ten Reasons to Join Smartex

    • How much of retail and transport services will contactless EMV penetrate, and when?
    • How will the explosive growth of IoT affect our market, and will it be MNO-led?
    • Smart cards could soon be superseded by mobile NFC: but how and when?
    • Could alternatives to NFC, such as 2D Barcodes, BLE or iBeacon become dominant?
    • Why is there no clear national strategy for commercial public transport payment systems?
    • Will the new breed of challenger banks threaten existing schemes and banks?
    • Who will win in the emerging micropayment, e-payment, prepaid and m-payment worlds?
    • Who will win the m-wallet wars, and is there really a future for m-wallets?
    • Will smart ticketing and payment interoperability give ITSO a true national role in public transport?
    • Will smart campus schemes migrate to NFC or adopt biometrics?

    Smartex Forums debate and seek answers to these and other pressing, highly topical issues.

    Be part of the largest network of smart associations in the world.

    Since 1993, 530 of our sector-specific meetings have attracted some 16,750 delegate-days of attendance, with over 1,900 specialist speakers covering the entire spectrum of smart cards, the smartphone revolution, IoT, biometrics, RFID tags, wearables and related technologies as applied to the main smart market areas.  With so many new technologies, applications and form factors on the near horizon, it’s hard to understand or even imagine our industry without Smartex meetings and networking.

    Several of our Forums have become sector-specific, especially for transport ticketing and payment, for University and College smart campus schemes, and for the FinTech market. The newest Forum, IoTA, addresses the huge emerging opportunities relating to the little-understood Internet of Things.  

    During 2016, some 550 different individuals attended our 21 meetings, representing 298 organizations.  Worldwide membership, covering our affiliated associations in Asia Pacific and Central Eastern Europe, exceeds 220 companies from all parts of our industry.  Networking, and doing business with fellow members and other delegates, not only in the UK but also through our affiliated Forums overseas, is therefore yet another real benefit of membership.

    Annual membership fees, which have not risen for several years, can be as low as £1,100 - for 4 full-day attendances and a wide range of other useful services - which makes £950+ for a one-day public conference look pretty expensive.  Can you afford not to be part of this influential group at the heart of these fast-moving and volatile technologies so vital in the new e- and m-worlds?

    Join Us Now

  • Members' Pages

    Members have access to restricted content.

    To access presentations from past meetings of our forums, click on the links below:

    Transport Card Forum


    Smart Payments Forum

    Mobile & Identity Forum

    Internet of Things Association

    Delegates' Area

    Delegates have access to presentations from the latest Smartex meeting.

    Delegate Presentations

  • September 2017: There are no TCF Working Groups at the moment.