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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

    26th and 27th September 2017

    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 17th February 2017

    Vision-Box deploys biometric gates at French border of St. Pancras
    Planet Biometrics
    Portugese biometric border solutions firm Vision-Box has implemented face recognition-enabled ABC biometric gates at French border for the Eurostar rail link in St Pancras station in London.

    UK: Upgrade to the c2c Smartcard system at key stations
    Thurrock Gazette

    ITSO Training
    We support ITSO's aim to make transport ticketing throughout the UK seamless and hassle-free through the use of smart technology.

    Fury as public transport smart card firm makes €55m in profit
    The company behind the Dutch public transport smart card has made €55m profit on the plastic cards in five years, the AD said on Tuesday. Consumer ...

    UK: ParkCloud promotes parking at Aberdeen Airport Parking Net 

    UK: Train users in Colwall benefitting from new ticket machine
    Malvern Observer
    RAIL passengers in Colwall are benefitting from a new ticket vending machine at the village’s railway station. London Midland recently unveiled the new equipment as part of an ongoing programme where 28 new machines have been installed across the firm’s network to make rail travel easier than ever. Featuring contactless technology to speed up the process, the new machines offer ticket options to reach any UK destination, including railcard discounts, at the touch of a button.
    (Today Colwall, tomorrow, er… Ed.)

    Multi-million pound plans to install contactless bus payment services
    Daily Echo
    Hundreds of buses will have contactless payment technology to let passengers pay tickets with their cards without worrying about having the right ...

    What is Account Based Ticketing?
    Account Based Ticketing is defined by the Smartcard Alliance as: “The transit fare collection system architecture that uses the back office system to apply relevant business rules, determine the fare, and settle the transaction.”

    Schiphol Airport and KLM launch biometric boarding trial
    Future Travel Experience

    Bluetooth bus ticketing trial lets passengers travel without buying a ticket NFC World Bus passengers in northern England are trialling a mobile ticketing system that works with Bluetooth beacons placed on buses and at bus stops, and a smartphone app that tracks the user’s journey and then charges them the best-value price over the course of a day or week. 

    Fingerprint scanning and autonomous trains part of ambitious proposals for UK rail improvements the Irish News Modern technology such as fingerprint and iris scans and digital signalling could improve rail travel in the future. This is the view of the Rail Delivery ...

    Rail passengers could soon pay for journeys with 'fingerprint or iris scans'
    Evening Standard
    Rail passengers could soon be paying for journeys with fingerprint or iris scans under a new plan to ease overcrowding at stations. Swapping train ...
    (OK, so long as any new fingerprint system – forget iris scans that are far too impractical – allows passengers to opt for using their own fingerprint readers – a.k.a. smartphones – instead of readers that have been used by a million dirty travellers: Disinfect-Ed.)

    UK: Came Parkare proudly announces Gatwick partnership
    Parking Network

    TfWM sets out next steps for Swift and contactless ticketing
    Transport for the West Midlands (TfWM) has appointed consultants to prepare a roadmap for the introduction of contactless ticketing across all public ...

    Smart parking, smart lighting, fleet management at heart of Nokia's IoT platform update
    The IoT ecosystem is fragmented with various applications and devices in ... NB-IoT and LoRa connectivity: Building upon existing Lightweight M2M ...

    US Transportation Department Sets New Vehicle-to-Vehicle Communication Requirements
    IOT Journal
    Salelkar says that another possible approach to V2V communication that appears to have been abandoned is to employ IoT-based "connected car" ...

    UK: Greater Anglia to make ticket purchases easier with contactless readers and less jargon
    Hertford Shire Mercury

    UK: Replacing paper tickets with mobile is 'only the start'
    Metro Report International

    Making cars smarter: EasyPark and Telenor
    Parking Network

































  • 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