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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 13th January 2017

    UrbanThings Announces Partnership with Ticketer
    UrbanThings PR
    Mobile app specialists UrbanThings have recently entered into a partnership with leading ticketing platform Ticketer. The two companies will jointly develop a range of innovative mobile applications. The partnership will involve close collaboration between the two companies, with UrbanThings developing pioneering mobile apps for Ticketer with features ranging from live public transit times to intelligent journey planning and future innovative applications.

    UK: New ticket vending machine unveiled at Lye train station
    Stourbridge News
    (Today Stourbridge, tomorrow, um… Ed.)

    Germany Plans Nationwide e-Ticket for All City Transport

    First Bus to rollout contactless payment technology Eurotransport (press release) (registration) (blog) First Bus has confirmed plans to introduce contactless payment technology allowing passengers to travel with contactless debit and credit cards.

    Chichester Moves to Contactless Parking Payments
    Parking Network (press release)
    Visitors to Chichester's historic city centre can now take advantage of contactless parking payment technology. Chichester District Council has ...

    Wait for 'smart travel' continues
    The Asian Age
    The single smart card, which it is believed will make ticketing system simpler in the city, will enable one to travel on bus, suburban railways, metro and ...
    (TfL is trying to export its smart card-based travel system: seemingly unsuccessfully on this occasion: Ed.)

    Evening Telegraph

    UK: Hull transport smartcard firm Systex sees turnover hit £75m in 2016

    Home Location Durham Stagecoach delivers further improvements for north east bus passengers ...
    North East Connected (press release) (subscription)
    Stagecoach bus passengers in the north east of England can now pay for their travel using state-of-the-art contactless technology, it was announced ...

    Your phone could finally help you pay a fair price for taking the train
    Micro-payments are, simply, the ability to pay anyone, anywhere, and for no fee. Perhaps the most famous example of the early micropayment ...

    Chris Grayling: Smart ticket on journey to golden era for rail
    Yorkshire Post
    I have mandated my department and the industry to make rapid progress introducing smart ticketing across the network. The ingredients are there to ...
    (Laugh? I nearly did: Ed.)

    65% of us still use Oyster! (Ed.)

    Contactless payments coming to every Arriva bus route on Teesside
    Gazette Live
    The days of worrying if you'll be able to get on the bus if you don't have the correct change might just be over. Arriva has listened to their customers ...

    Sydney to trial contactless payments on public transport network
    Global Rail News
    Cubic has been awarded a $10.2 million contract to design and implement a contactless payment system across Sydney's public transport network.

    One for all you boozers (Ed.)...

    Stagecoach introduces contactless card payments on North East buses
    Stagecoach has introduced contactless card payments on its buses in the North East, making commuters in the region among the first to use the ...

    Greater Anglia urges commuters to upgrade season tickets to new oyster-style Smart Cards
    Cambridge News
    Upgrading to a Smart Card is free and can be done when a season ticket is due for renewal or if any existing paper ticket has at least 30 days left to ...

    Get Smart for your return to work
    Cumbernauld News
    Transport Scotland has been working with various partners across the rail and bus networks to introduce Smart technology which makes public ...

    Cubic makes its transport predictions for 2017
    Smart Highways (press release) (registration)
    Cubic Transportation Systems has is predicting that the new year will being an integrated approach to smart ticketing, integrated personal mobility and ...

    Translink debit card system on trains cost almost £2m to implement
    the Irish News
    In September, Translink announced it was planning to introduce contactless payment on buses and 'London Oyster' style cards for passengers as part ...
    (Sounds pretty cheap to Ed.)

    One Contactless Card, Eight Modes of Transport
    One Contactless Card, Eight Modes of Transport. Marseille, France, wanted a single contactless card that would provide riders with an interoperable ...

    UBS collaborates on blockchain-backed wallets for cars
    International Business Times UK
    The capability to do micropayment transactions on the go opens up possibilities such as inductive charging, which could happen while the car is ...

    Smart Card tickets mean quicker service for commuters
    The rail operator is the first to offer Smart Card tickets rather than traditional paper tickets. Customers will simply have to touch the Smart Card season ...
    (Ho ho ho, oh so slow. Santa Ed.)

    Changi airport selects MorphoPass biometrics solution for its new terminal Biometric Update It's hard to change one's face, fingerprint or irises between bag check and boarding, whereas a boarding pass or passport can be easily destroyed, ...

    Uber nerdy but interesting if you are a very sad techy – or a crook: Ed.

    New East West Rail route chair revealed along with smart ticketing plans
    Rail Technology Magazine
    Transport secretary Chris Grayling has announced the chair of his proposed new East West Rail organisation, which will deliver Britain's first new ...

    West Fife commuters to benefit from mobile ticketing app
    Dunfermline Press
    Stagecoach Group recently also announced plans to deliver contactless payments on all of its vehicles in the UK by the end of 2018. Stagecoach East ...

    5 reasons why the new Southeastern 'smart card' has been branded a total waste of money
    Kent Live
    A campaign group has slammed Southeastern's new Oyster Card-style smart card system as a "total waste of money". The new system, named The ...
    (When will these stupid people realize the importance of being seen to be doing something with SEFT? Ed.)

    Transport Secretary promises UK-wide smart ticketing by 2018
    Smart Highways (press release) (registration)
    The Transport Secretary Chris Grayling is promising rail passengers they will soon be able to use a pay-as-you-go smart card to take them anywhere ...

    Commuters to get smart cards to travel across country by 2018 and Network Rail to lose sole ...
    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 ...

    £5.5m Southeastern smart card blasted 'a total waste of money' by rail campaigners
    Kent News
    Rail Minister Paul Maynard is among the first to 'tap-in' his personalised smart card, The Key with Southeastern's Managing Director David Statham at ...

    Southeastern launches new Oyster card style scheme for travellers
    Kent Online
    An official launch of the scheme is due to take place today at Sevenoaks station and is part of the government's strategy for “smart card” ticketing and ...

    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.)



























  • 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