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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.
  • Transport Card Forum Conference and Exhibition

    25th and 26th September 2017
    The Council House, Birmingham

    Details to be confirmed.


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


    • Learn from expert speakers about the emerging strategy and tactics for enhancing the quality and spread of smart transport systems
    • 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

    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

  • Updated on 21st June 2017

    Midland Metro sees the biggest rise is customer satisfaction in the UK
    Eurotransport (press release) (registration) (blog)
    “We also introduced contactless payment on the trams at the same time. A fifth of tickets sold on the trams are now bought using contactless cards and ...

    All aboard with technology as Stagecoach buses offer contactless tickets
    Petersfield Post
    For the first time Stagecoach bus passengers across Hampshire can now buy their tickets using state-of-the-art contactless technology. Contactless ...

    Contactless technology arrives in Swindon for Thamesdown Transport bus passengers
    Bus passengers will find it easier than ever to travel around Swindon from this week – thanks to the introduction of contactless payments by Thamesdown Transport.

    Nottingham launch new Under 19 PAYG card
    The Robin Hood Operators Group is delighted to announce the launch of the Under 19 Pay as You Go (PAYG) ITSO smart card. The group which comprises of the Nottingham City Council and the operators in the Greater Nottingham area, launched the adult Robin Hood PAYG card, an epurse that uses a capping system to ensure best value for travellers, a little over a year ago and are now this has been expanded to a new Under 19 product. Robin Hood PAYG allows unlimited trips on multiple operators for bus and tram.

    Go-Ahead adds contactless to OBC, Thames Travel and Carousel
    Coach & Bus Week
    Ticketer is providing Go-Ahead with its latest Electronic Ticketing Machines (ETMs) with fully integrated EMV readers for contactless payments.

    Thamesdown Transport goes contactless
    Swindon Advertiser
    “From today we will be accepting all contactless payment types, including apple and android - as well as wearable devices like apple watch,” said ...

    Masabi Launches JustRide Mobile Ticketing with Fire Island Ferries in New York State
    Masabi PR
    Masabi, the global leader in transport mobile ticketing and innovative fare collection, today announced that Fire Island Ferries, the ferry and water taxi operator serving Fire Island, New York, has adopted the JustRide Platform to deliver mobile ticketing to its riders. The ticketing app is available for download from Google Play and the Apple App store. The system will initially support water taxi services, with ferries being added later in the year. 

    Swedish commuters are paying for train journeys with a microchip embedded in their HAND
    The Sun
    Up to 20,000 people in Sweden already have microchips implanted in their hands - mainly for use at work instead of a plastic ID card to open doors, ...

    The end of the boarding pass: TSA begins testing fingerprint check-in at Denver and Atlanta airports
    Daily Mail
    The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is testing new checkpoint screening technology that could mean the end of the boarding pass in ...

    The Swift smartcard – new look, new solutions, new customers
    Swift, Transport for West Midland's ITSO smartcard, has had a busy start to 2017, delivering new products and solutions to customers as well as ...

    Mastercard's (Digital) Ticket to Ride
    Now spanning more than 80 cities, Mastercard's contactless payments system is helping shift daily commuting into the digital realm. Will Judge, VP of ...

    Intelligent Living: WÖHR Makes Parking Smart
    Parking Network
    The WÖHR Smart Parking App can be downloaded for free from either the Google Play store or the Apple store. Each user is then provided with an individually generated parking place QR code, directly by WÖHR. A barcode scanner system is used to acknowledge the QR code, after which the driver is provided with authorisation to access the relative parking place.

    Contactless payments arrive on Carousel Buses
    Bucks Free Press
    People using Carousel Buses will have the option to pay for their journeys using a contactless debit or credit card, or Apple or Android Pay, in a move ...

    Go-Ahead launches contactless payments in Oxford
    Eurotransport (press release) (registration) (blog)
    Go-Ahead has begun accepting contactless EMV payments on buses and coaches at its Oxford division, comprising Oxford Bus Company, Thames ...

    UK: Contactless Intelligence talks smart ticketing with Rambus
    Stephen McSpadden, a Senior Product Manager at Rambus, recently sat down with Contactless Intelligence to discuss the future of smart ticketing. According to McSpadden, transit Host Card Emulation (HCE) is now a reality, with real world trials ramping up in the UK and around the world.

    ScotRail launch new 'Flexipass' tickets for West Fife commuters
    Dunfermline Press
    WEST Fife commuters to Edinburgh are set to benefit from a new flexible ticket option from ScotRail. The ScotRail Alliance is providing customers train travel with greater flexibility and freedom with the launch of ‘Flexipass’ tickets as a purchase option on Smartcard.

    Your face or fingerprint could soon replace your plane ticket
    Washington Post
    Headed on a trip? You may soon be able to ditch your boarding pass in favor of your fingers or face. Delta announced, on Wednesday, a new ...

    UK's Gatwick Airport installs navigation beacons for augmented reality wayfinding
    The beacon system also enables an augmented reality wayfinding tool - so passengers can be shown directions in the camera view of their mobile device - making it easier for passengers to locate check in areas, departure gates, baggage belts etc. 

    UK: Travel For Free On The Tube Using A Lucozade Bottle
    Free Lucozade bottles with a contactless chip at the base will be handed out at Oxford Circus station and can be used to pay for a single journey on London’s subterranean railway network. Passengers simply tap the bottle at the gates as they were using a normal card.

    SITA launches single payment terminal for multi-airline transactions
    Passenger Terminal Today (press release) (registration) (blog)
    ... airport where testing proved the effectiveness of the encryption technology for chip, magnetic stripe and contactless card payment transactions.

    Netherlands: KPN, Vodafone start public transport mobile payments
    Customers need to have a personal public transport pass (OV card) to use their smartphone to check in and out on the bus, tram and train. The service, which makes use of the Secure Element on the Sim card, will be rolled out gradually this year. Customers need to have their OV card linked to a bank account for automatic top-up and can only travel at full price, as subscriptions and discount cards cannot yet be added to the mobile platform.
    (Sounds like a rubbish system to Ed.)

    NXP Boosts Security and Connectivity for Slovenian Railway Ticketing System
    The smart ticketing solution from Margento and NXP includes complete on-board, off-board and consumable products that meet user expectations in ...

    UK: More people than ever are using contactless mobile payment technology on London's transport network
    The local government body – which is responsible for the capital’s Tube and tram network, as well as most of the internal National Rail services – recorded around 31 million ‘pay as you go’ journey’s from 2016 to 2017, the highest figure it has recorded yet. This figure accounts for almost one in 10 contactless journeys in total across the network. 

    Smart ticketing to make travel easier
    TfN PR (Kindly spotted by Peter Tomlinson)
    A more sophisticated method of ticketing and payment is being introduced to transform the way people travel on public transport across the North. …John Henkel, Smart Executive Sponsor, who is leading the project said: “We are working with transport operators and other partners to make travel by rail, bus and light rail as simple, attractive and convenient as possible for local trips and longer journeys.









































  • 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