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  • 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

  • 2016 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 2016.  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
    • TCF16: Leeds selected for annual two-day regional conference and exhibition


    Meeting Agendas and Dates

    • For 2016 meeting dates and agendas please click here.
  • Updated on 2nd December 2016

    Transport Scotland turns to IoT mapping to keep roads clear in cold snap
    With winter setting in across the UK, Transport Scotland, the Scottish national transportation authority, has enlisted Esri UK to supply geographic ...

    Face recognition ticket checking comes to Beijing West Railway Station
    Face recognition ticket checking comes to Beijing West Railway Station. 1 ... Face recognition technology is being rolled out at Beijing West Railway ...
    (And it even checks your political affiliations: Ed.)

    Paris Aéroport selects Gemalto to ease and secure passenger flow at border control
    Smart Card Alliance (press release)
    The solution is based on fingerprint recognition and aims to increase ... By the spring of 2017, with only their passport and fingerprint, passengers will ...
    (Hope it works better/faster than Gatwick: Ed.)

    Customized electronic ticket solutions simplify daily commute in Russian cities
    Smart Card Alliance (press release)
    Scalable CIPURSE™ based electronic fare collection systems are now being implemented in Russia by ...

    Star Micronics partners with iZettle to provide London's licensed taxi drivers with TfL approved ...
    RealWire (press release)
    Following the requirement for taxi drivers to accept card and contactless payments as well as provide receipts for those payments upon request, iZettle ...

    Trainline welcomes investment in smart ticketing
    Travel Weekly UK
    Plans to spend £80 million on speeding up the introduction of smart ticketing for rail travel in yesterday's Autumn Statement was welcomed by online ...

    Connected trains
    This is the second post in a three-part series on how the Internet of Things is impacting transportation. Passenger rail traffic globally is expected to ...

    TfL is going to track the phones of London Underground passengers
    If you like using Wi-Fi on the Tube then chances are your phone will be tracked by Transport for London. From Monday, the transport authority will monitor WiFi connection request data of London Underground passengers as part of a four week trial.

    Bus company announces plan to run service in Bristol on Christmas Day and Boxing Day
    Bristol Post
    Mr Hand said: "My service will not only be the first to run on Christmas Day, but will be the only bus service in Bristol ever to accept card, contactless or ...

    Oyster Card vs Contactless: The Best Way to Pay for Public Transport in London
    Finding the universe
    These are cash, the London Oyster Card, and a contactless enabled credit / debit card. Let's look quickly at these three options, and then figure out ...

    Kinchbus is first with contactless cloud fares
    Kinchbus PR (Kindly submitted by Kevin Farquharson)
    50 Kinchbus and skylink customers will trial the UK’s first cloud-based contactless payment system that guarantees the best fare on every trip. By simply tapping their contactless cards when they get on and off the bus, customers’ accounts will be charged overnight with the cheapest possible fare for their exact journeys. Customers can check what they’ve paid via an app or our secure website.

    York buses launch new smart card payment option
    Steve Galloway
    smart-card-launch Cllr Ian Gillies, Executive Member for Transport and Planning, said: “The introduction of the 'York by bus' smartcard will allow ...

    UK: Celebrations as Robin Hood travel smartcard hits £1 million sales mark

    Smart Ticketing for Lochaber Bus Routes
    The Scottish Government
    Bus passengers in the Lochaber area can now purchase multi-journey tickets with Shiel Buses.

    Smart ticketing taking off Rochdale Online Greater Manchester has the largest multi-operator ticketing scheme in the UK outside London, with get me there the only smart ticketing option offering ...

    Two takes on Smart EMV cards in the USA: Ed.

    TfL board asked to approve £380m contract for credit card payments
    Rail Technology Magazine
    The TfL board papers said the contract was longer to allow for the use of contactless payments, which were introduced on the capital's bus services in
    (Ah, the pigeons are coming back home to roost in the Underground system.  I don’t remember this cost as part of the original business case for dumping Oyster – now un-dumped… Misl-Ed.)

    Australia: Road tolls, car rego and parking fines - put it on your Opal card

    Railways to accept mobile wallet payment for unreserved tickets
    INDIA: A mobile wallet is a pre-loaded virtual wallet which can be used for online and offline payments. “We are in talks with leading mobile wallet providers.

    Apple Pay goes live in Japan, with glitches for transit users [Updated]
    9 to 5 Mac
    This makes the iPhone 7 and Apple Watch Series 2 compatible with the FeliCa contactless payment system used by almost two million payment ...

    Cubic to supply electronic gating system for UK's northern rail stations
    ITS International
    The gates are equipped with ITSO-compliant smart card and barcode reading capabilities, in addition to accepting magnetic tickets. Gates have ...

    ST Electronics' facial recognition system might soon replace travel cards
    The Tech Portal
    ... payment methods such as credit cards, debit cards and the latest modes of mobile payment as well as traditional contactless Smart Card users.

    10 million London Hopper fare journeys recorded since launch
    Eurotransport (press release) (registration) (blog)
    The benefit is given to anyone who uses pay as you go with a contactless bank payment or Oyster card. Commenting on the incentive, Mayor of ...

    Stagecoach unveils contactless bus travel plans
    BBC News
    Stagecoach has announced plans to bring in contactless payment technology on all of its UK regional bus services by the end of 2018. The £12m ...

    South Africa: Cashless system for SA taxi industry
    Independent Online

    Parking available! CloudParc uses IoT, machine vision to improve city parking
    Network World
    Finding a parking space is like a treasure hunt. Lots of aggravation for a few moments of joy. Parking is a challenge for city officials, too. How do

























  • TCF16_Logo

    Transport Card Forum Conference and Exhibition

    27th and 28th September 2016
    The Queens Hotel, Leeds

    Diamond Sponsor

    Platinum Sponsor
    Gold Sponsor
    Silver Sponsor
    Bronze Sponsor
    Badge Sponsor
    Stationery Sponsor

    We are delighted to invite you to this special two-day TCF meeting, supported by TfN, which this time will focus upon the smart transport schemes and initiatives in the north of England.  We shall be bringing together transport operators, consultants, suppliers, cities, local Government authorities and other industry specialists to learn about and debate the current status, challenges and future plans affecting the smart transport landscape in that region.

    As always, the Conference will be supported and enriched by our sponsors and other exhibitors, so far including Rambus Ecebs, ACT, PayzoneCammax, ESP Group, Smartrac, Parkeon, Penrillian, Burall InfoSmart, ITSO and The Hub 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 expert speakers about the emerging strategy and tactics for enhancing the quality and spread of smart transport systems in the north of England
    • See demonstrations of modern smart ticketing and payment products
    • Discover the latest technologies that are revolutionising ticketing, payment and much more
    • Network with senior transport industry officials


    General theme: Bringing the North On Board

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

    • Transport for the North (TfN): what it is, why it’s there, where and when is it happening, and what is its relationship with Northern Regional smart transport schemes?
    • Influencers and influences: what overall considerations might influence the development of integrated smart ticketing and payments in the north, and which organisations will the main influencers be?
    • Regional scheme operators: cities and regions developing or operating smart transport schemes; where have they got to, how will TfN affect them, and how are they catering for the non- and under-banked?
    • Transport operators in the north: what are their plans and how might TfN affect them?
    • Issues: what are the main challenges facing the overall smart ticketing and payment schemes and aspirations in the north, and how is over-border travel being addressed?
    • National initiatives: what other smart initiatives will affect the systems being implemented in the north, e.g. EMV contactless-enabled cards?
    • New technologies: What new technical initiatives and solutions will affect smart transport in the near future, e.g. new technical standards, PAR, centrally-managed systems and the smartphone revolution?

    The Conference will also include sessions for debates, Q&A and syndicate groups.

    WHAT’S INCLUDED IN THE DEAL FOR DELEGATES? Included within that arrangement 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 27th September

    COCKTAIL RECEPTION An informal evening cocktail reception, kindly being sponsored by Smartrac, will be held in the exhibitor’s room on Tuesday, 27th September.

    INFORMAL DINNER Smartex is planning its traditional informal dinner, and this will be held after the cocktail reception on Tuesday, 27th September at a nearby restaurant. Guests will be asked to pay for their own meals (a reduced rate, thanks to sponsorship from ACT), and this may be done in advance with Smartex. Any particular dietary requirements or constraints should be passed to Smartex beforehand.

    ATTENDANCE TERMS FOR MEMBERS 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 of attendance, even if both days are attended.


    • Delegates from invited 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

      CONTACT US If you have any questions, please contact Annabel Cartwright at or call +44 (0)1440 712610.

    If you are considering exhibiting, please contact Lawrence Faulkner at or call + 44 (0)7717 218767

  • 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.  From 2017 we are widening the scope of our Near Field Club to include eID and its relationship with mobiles, and will rebrand this as MIDAS (Mobile ID Association).

    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:

    Smart Card Club

    Transport Card Forum


    Smart Payments Forum

    Near Field Club

    Internet of Things Association

    Delegates' Area

    Delegates have access to presentations from the latest Smartex meeting.

    Delegate Presentations

  • WG26: Interoperability - the customer requirements and the commercial opportunity

    February 2015: this new Working Group seeks further volunteers to join it and to assist in developing the work packages to be included within its report.

    To view the draft of the terms of reference and proposed content for WG26, click here