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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

  • 2017 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 2017.  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
    • TCF17: Leeds selected for annual two-day regional conference and exhibition


    Meeting Agendas and Dates

    • For 2017 meeting dates and agendas please click here.
  • Smartex’s annual two-day Conference & Exhibition for the Transport Card Forum

     “Smart Transport for the New Generation”

    Kindly supported by Transport for the West Midlands

    25th & 26th September 2017

    Birmingham Council House, Waterloo St, Birmingham B1 1BB

    Following last September’s successful event with Transport for the North in Leeds, we are delighted to invite you to this special two-day TCF meeting, supported by Transport for the West Midlands (TfWM), which this time will have as its main theme the development of smart transport systems that will meet young people's needs and expectations.  We shall be bringing together transport operators, consultants, suppliers, Local Government Authorities and other industry specialists to learn about and debate the current status, challenges and future plans affecting the smart transport landscape, with a particular emphasis on the West Midlands.

    As always, the Conference will be supported and enriched by our sponsors and other exhibitors, including Euclid, ITSO, CreditcallCammax, INIT, Parkeon, ESP Group, Smartrac, ACT, Rambus, The Hub Company, Multipass, Vocalink and Burall Infosmart a BBP 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 specialist speakers about the emerging strategy and tactics for enhancing the quality and spread of smart transport systems in the West Midlands and throughout the UK, particularly as they relate to the next generation of passengers
    • See demonstrations of the latest smart ticketing and payment products
    • Discover innovative technologies that will revolutionise ticketing, payment and much more
    • Network with the senior transport industry community


    Download TCF17 Agenda

    General theme: Smart Transport for the New Generation

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

    • Session 1 (Day 1 morning)
    • Session theme: Opening addresses and status reports
      • Where are we, and where are we going in the UK?
      • What’s happening outside the UK?
    • Session 2 (Day 1 afternoon)
    • Session theme: Innovative products and projects for tomorrow’s world
      • Account-based ticketing (ABT)
      • Scottish national e-purse
      • ITSO: moving forward for the future of smart ticketing
      • Future ticketing technologies
      • Case studies and other innovations
    • Session 3 (Day 2 morning)
    • Session theme: Developing smart transport systems for the new generation
      • Research results from Transport Focus
      • Feedback from young people
      • Modal shift to other types of public transport
      • Emerging authentication methods
      • Mobility as a Service
      • How shall we pay for using new forms of transport?
      • Pay by Bank
      • Demographics of the future
      • Supplier sessions
    • Session 4 (Day 2 afternoon)
    • Session theme: Are we going in the right direction?
      • Breakout with syndicate groups, addressing:
        • How can schemes and operators make best use of better traveller data?
        • What are the next steps towards ABT and MaaS
        • Consider the smart transit needs of young people and list the top 10 functions, features or applications that you believe would most attract and satisfy them
      • Panel session
      • General debate and Q&A

    Included within the delegate offer 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 25th September

    An informal evening cocktail reception, kindly sponsored by Smartrac, will be held in the exhibitor’s room on Monday, 25th September.  

    Smartex is planning its traditional informal dinner, and this will be held after the cocktail reception on Monday, 25th September at San Carlo.  Guests will be asked to pay for their own meals, and this may be done in advance with Smartex.  Any particular dietary requirements or constraints should be passed to Smartex beforehand.  

    If you require overnight accommodation during the event (24th September and/or 25th September), we have reserved rooms at the Macdonald Burlington Hotel, including a range of single and twin rooms varying in price from £121 to £136 pppn (including breakfast).  Officially, the hotel (and will tell you that they are full, so if you would like a room there, please call or Richard Poynder on 01440 712610 or email as soon as possible.

    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 only of attendance, even if both days are attended.  


    • Delegates from 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


    Registration by both members and non-members can be done online here or by email to, indicating:

    • Whether you wish to attend on 25th or 26th September, or on both days
    • Whether or not you intend to join us for dinner on the evening of 25th September


    If you have any questions, please contact Annabel Cartwright at or call +44 1440 712610. 

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

  • TCF News

    Updated on 24th November 2017

    Boston becomes the second US city to tap-in to London's contactless fares revolution
    Image: Wiki Boston has been named as the next US city to incorporate London's market-leading contactless fares technology after the Massachusetts ...

    Egypt: Transportation smartcards will be introduced soon
    The Transportation Ministry is planning on rolling out a smartcard system, which will enable passengers to use all means of transportation, including UBER and Careem, through one rechargeable card, Transportation Minister Hisham Arafat announced on Wednesday.

    US: MBTA Approves Overhaul of Fare Collection System
    The board overseeing the nation's fifth-largest transit agency has approved a $723 million overhaul of its fare collection system that will phase out the CharlieCard and allow riders to board trains, trolleys and buses with the tap of a credit card or smartphone. The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority awarded a 13-year contract to San Diego-based Cubic Corp. to design and operate the new system, which officials hope to have fully implemented by the spring of 2020.

    CEN has made a comparison of certification rules for EMVCo and CEN TS16794 (the standards for transport smartcard readers based on ISO 14443).
    Kindly provided by Chris Queree
    There were two incompatibilities which meant that strictly it was not possible to be correctly certified to both standards (despite for example at TfL, etc). ISO will apparently change 14443 to make their standard the same as EMVCo. As 16794 sits on 14443 the problem is resolved.

    Rail passengers will be able to use a smart card on trains from next year
    Manchester Evening News
    Passengers from Greater Manchester will have a smart card to use on trains with Northern, TransPennine and Merseyrail by the end of 2018.

    Patent Invalidation Paves the Way for Automated Fare Collection Systems
    ... credit card, or mobile wallet, in lieu of an agency-issued card that has no use outside of fare payment. Moreover, a key component of AFC systems is ...

    UK: Plans for discounted bus card for youngsters across West Yorkshire
    As part of the Bus 18 initiative to improve journeys for bus users across West Yorkshire, it is proposed to introduce a discounted “go anywhere” day ticket for young people. Bus 18 was launched in March this year with the backing of major bus operators Arriva, First and Transdev as well as the Association of Bus operators in West Yorkshire and the West Yorkshire Combined Authority, which includes councillors from Kirklees.

    Wembley Stadium scores UK first with contactless tickets
    The system, which will be powered by global ticketing technology specialists Fortress GB, will allow fans to enter live events with contactless tickets ...

    Best of London with new smart city app
    The Standard
    Making booking even easier and more seamless, the app offers payment capabilities with Masterpass. Users can store all of their card details in one ...

    Adelaide Metro to become first Australian transit system to trial mobile ticketing
    Intelligent Transport (press release)
    “This trial in Adelaide using the Justride platform of our global smart ticketing partner, Masabi, allows the benefits of truly smart ticketing to be shown in ...

    Orchestrated mobility: Mobile app solutions for seamless travel
    Global Railway Review (press release)
    Please explain further how your smart technology contributes to a seamless ticketing journey? We have the capability to automatically detect where a ...

    UK: Northern leaders to finally have major say on roads, rail and smart ticketing
    Manchester Evening News
    A body driving transport in the north will have a say how money is spent thanks to a landmark legal ruling. It means decisions on major transport projects, new roads and smart ticketing will be decided locally by Transport for the North - a body set up three years ago to drive links between northern cities.

    Cubic to Continue Delivery of Revenue Collection Services for Transport for London with Contract Extension
    Cubic Corporation today announced its Cubic Transportation Systems (CTS) business division has signed a $185 million contract with Transport for London (TfL) for a three-year extension of services to London’s Oyster and contactless ticketing system.

    How smart ticketing is revolutionizing rapid transit
    With technology such as HCE, the future of smart ticketing, and rapid transit in general, is looking very bright.

    US: Tickets? Puh-leez. There Are Lots of New Ways to Pay Bus and Train Fares
    Depending on the city where you live, paying for a ride on public transit can be complicated. A single morning's commute can involve a confounding mishmash of cash, paper tickets and electronic swipe cards. And different parts of a transit system -- buses, subways, commuter trains -- can sometimes be independent from each other, frustrating riders who have to juggle multiple fare cards and different methods of payment. That's all starting to change.

    Smart Ticketing SME
    PSD Group
    SME Consultant – Smart Ticketing – Digital. PSD have an exciting opportunity for a Smart Ticketing Subject Matter Expert (SME). My Blue Chip Client ...

    ITSO Certification for PDMS Gives the Green Light to Pilot Smart Card Projects in the Scottish ...
    Business Wire (press release)
    PDMS is pleased to announce that it has received certification from ITSO for its mobile ticketing device ...

    Meet the winners of the biggest ever face-recognition challenge
    New Scientist
    Everyone from government agencies to police forces are looking for software to track us in airports or spot us in CCTV images. But much of this ...

    Over 120 smart gates installed at Dubai International Airport
    Travelers won't spend time waiting in long queues at Dubai International Airport, thanks to latest generation of smart gates. (Photo courtesy: ...

    IT Project Manager - Smart Ticketing - 12 Month
    Salary: Up to £50k, Job Type: Contract/Interim, Duration: 12 Months, Start Date: ASAP - Apply Now for IT Project Manager - Smart Ticketing - 12 Month ...

    Visa bids to bring contactless transit payments to the world
    Finextra (press release)
    Visa is looking to accelerate the adoption of contactless payments on the world's subway, rail and bus networks through the launch of a dedicated ...

    On Moscow Metro, Jewelry Is a Classy Alternative to Subway Cards
    In London, payment cards are on the wane as commuters switch to using their regular contactless debit cards at the turnstile—cards that people are ...

    Public agencies' single offerings slow quest for universal smart card
    Pune Mirror
    Just with their smart card, commuters will be able to switch from one mode of transport to the other easily, they will be launching a Smart card which ...
    (Now where does this remind you of?  Ed.)

    National Express roll out contactless payment in the West Midlands
    Black Country Radio
    National Express West Midlands has confirmed it will roll out contactless payment across all of its routes during 2018.

    UK: Plymouth Citybus goes contactless
    Buses Mag
    Contactless payments are now available on all Plymouth Citybus services. Buses are accepting contactless payment methods including bPay, Apple Pay, Android Pay, Visa and MasterCard. Customers can simply ask the driver for a ticket or multiple tickets and instead of paying with cash, use a method of contactless payment.

    Smart Ticketing Delivery Lead
    I'm searching for Rail professionals with experience of working on Smart Ticketing projects within Digital Wallet / NFC, ITSO & Mobile. You'll be ...

    Contactless payments come to all First Glasgow buses
    Intelligent Transport (press release)
    Humza Yousaf MSP, Minister for Transport and the Islands, has hailed the introduction of contactless payment technology on all buses operated by ...




  • 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.  

    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:

    Transport Card Forum


    Smart Payments Forum

    Mobile & Identity Forum

    Internet of Things Association

    Delegates' Area

    Delegates have access to presentations from the latest Smartex meeting.

    Delegate Presentations

  • September 2017: There are no TCF Working Groups at the moment.