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

  • 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 7th April 2017

    Meet Harry – London’s first driverless shuttlebus
    A new trial in the London borough of Greenwich is looking to pave the way for driverless shuttle buses throughout the UK.

    Telia + EasyPark: Making smart technology accessible to all drivers
    Parking Network (press release)
    On board device, Telia Sense, went on sale in November 2016 with partnerships including Folksam, Bilia, Swedish Motor Vehicle Inspection and ...

    Virgin Trains launches world's first tattoo ticket
    Cumbria Crack
    bhui4ahws3frhfcpqrio Virgin Trains has today launched an innovative new contactless ticket system, offering customers the opportunity to have their ...
    (You might actually believe this one, as it’s from the wearable community that has brought you contactless jackets, gloves, specs and condoms.  Ed.)

    The latest update from Scotland’s national, multi-modal, interoperable smart travel card project (Ed.)
    MCGILL'S Buses Launch Smart Card Ticket Option
    Inverclyde Now
    INVERCLYDE bus operator McGill's has launched its GoSmart card; the company's first-ever network-wide commercial smart ticketing product.

    Pay-as-you-go card for journeys to London now in use at stations including Reigate and Dorking
    Surrey Mirror
    A contactless payment card that allows cheaper journeys into London has been introduced at train stations including Reigate, Horley, Dorking and ...

    Selecting the correct technologies to keep the modern rail passenger happy.
    SmartRail World
    For rail and metro bosses, the digitization of their passengers’ lives has given them plenty of important decisions to make. How do they ensure the technology that they choose to invest in matches the demands of their passengers both today and tomorrow. What’s the best way to avoid obsolescence? And how can their on-board connectivity continue to match the rapid changes seen in the wider world?
    (Some interesting ideas: Ed.)

    UK: New online top-up system for Robin Hood travel cards
    Nottingham Post
    The expansion will see the introduction of more card types to include child and student pay-as-you-go options, including an under-19 pay-as-you-go card which will be introduced by the end of May, together with traditional prepaid all-operator and single operator season tickets.

    Mobile payments use is mainly for transportation and restaurant bills
    QR Code Press
    Finally, 19.3 percent of mobile wallet transactions were for buying clothing, accessories, handbags and footwear. A senior analyst with the Market ...

    Biometrics, blockchain and future transport – key takeaways for travel from SXSW
    This year's SXSW festival in Austin, Texas, was far more muted than recent years. The annual tech, music and film festival has become a worldwide ...

    Goodbye boarding pass, hello fingerprints: How biometrics is changing travel
    Yahoo Finance
    The rise of biometrics could one day allow travelers to use their fingerprints or ... While facial recognition tech is growing fast, fingerprint identification ...

    UK: New Smartcard for West Midlands rail users The Business Desk The West Midlands’ answer to London’s Oyster card has been extended to thousands of additional commuters. Transport for West Midlands (TfWM), the transport arm of the West Midlands Combined Authority, has started to switch all 9,000 customers on its nTrain direct debit ticket scheme from traditional paper tickets to a new smartcard.

    New 'touch and travel' cards for old folk to travel on buses Iom Today Old folk are to get new smart cards for travelling on public transport in the island. Go Silver smart cards will be issued to around 21,000 senior citizens on the island from Monday, April 3

    Singapore pilots account-based ticketing for public transport
    Enterprise Innovation
    Singapore is the first in Asia and one of the few cities in the world to enable the usage of contactless credit cards and contactless debit cards for fare ...









































  • 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