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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

  • 2019 Meetings


    This Forum 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 and the devolved administrations 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 mobiles for transport applications such as journey planning, ticketing, boarding cards, payment and many other useful applications for travellers
    • The deployment of MaaS and its impact
    • Biometric techniques for public transport applications
    • Account-based ticketing (ABT) and its impact
    • Will the future bring a national account-based central system for transport payments?
    • Monitoring of initiatives and plans for commercial smart ticketing and payment
    • Developing effective Real-Time-Information systems
    • Smart and mobile ticketing and payment on National Rail
    • Exposing relevant technical issues and proposed solutions, for example for bus exit reading & ungated train stations
    • Using tokenisation technology to improve security
    • Pay-As-You-Go in urban areas – multi modal, multi operator, capping
    • Will tickets disappear?
    • Updates on the progress of the ITSO specifications, and of ITSO for Mobiles
    • cEMV contactless card technology and its evolving role in UK public transport
    • Do UK transport operators really want interoperability?
    • The how, where, when, why and what of TfN, and its interaction with other regional schemes
    • Improving the whole-journey experience with smart technology
    • Assessment of winners and losers in the transport contactless payment arena
    • Are beacons or BLE going to happen in transport?
    • QR code deployment is growing, especially in Rail – what is their future role?
    • Case studies from UK LA-controlled and commercial smart transport scheme operators
    • Case studies from overseas smart transport initiatives
    • What do different groups of passengers want?
    • Inclusion of “adjacent modes”: parking, taxi, bike hire, Demand Responsive Transport
    • The impact of good deployment and staff training
    • Commercial exploitation of transport data
    • The ongoing impact of changes in legislation and regulation
    • Ridership trends and strategies/tactics to address
    • The fate of small operators
    • Relevant global macro trends in transport
    • Impact of “disruptive players”: Google, Amazon, Apple…
    • TCF19: Bristol is the location for our annual two-day regional conference & exhibition


    Meeting Agendas and Dates

    • For 2019 meeting dates and agendas please click here.

    The TCF annual two-day Conference & Exhibition

    Making technology meet travellers' needs

    24th & 25th September 2019

    Marriott Royal Hotel, College Green, Bristol

    Kindly supported by Smart Applications Management

    Following last September’s record-breaking conference in Manchester, we are delighted to announce TCF19, which this time will have as its main theme 'Making technology meet travellers' needs'.

    We shall be bringing together transport operators, consultants, suppliers, cities, Local Government bodies and other industry specialists to explain, debate and understand the current status, challenges and future plans affecting the smart transport landscape.

    This year we shall also be running an in-depth workshop on Monday 23rd September 2019, at the event venue.  This will appeal to those wishing to benefit from a highly interactive day with specialists who will explain the range of smart transport operations, applications and products relevant to the traveller of the future.  There will be a charge for attendance at this workshop.


    • 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 transport technology industry (terms apply, see below)


    • Appreciate the fundamental shifts happening in smart public transport
    • Learn from expert speakers about the emerging strategy and tactics for enhancing the quality and spread of smart transport systems in the UK
    • See demonstrations of modern smart ticketing, payment and related products
    • Discover the latest technologies that are revolutionising ticketing, payments and much more
    • Network with senior transport industry officials
    • Enjoy our legendary Smartex hospitality


    The following will be included:

    • 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 24th September
    • Attendance at our workshop on 23rd September


    Our informal evening cocktail reception will be held in the exhibition room on Tuesday, 24th September.


    We are planning our traditional annual dinner, and this will be held after the cocktail reception on Tuesday, 24th September at a nearby restaurant.  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 provided to Smartex beforehand. 


    Attendees at TCF19 may reserve overnight accommodation at the TCF19 event location, the Marriott Royal Hotel, at discounted  rates.  


    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.  Sponsors will each be offered two delegate passes for the conference sessions.


    • 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


    To register your attendance, please complete and submit our online TCF19 registration form.


    If you have any questions, or would be interested in becoming a sponsor, please contact Annabel Cartwright at or call +44 (0)1440 712610 or +44 (0)7785 254405.

  • TCF News

    Updated on 24th April 2019

    Transdev bus customers to lead North's first contactless fare capping trial
    Bus operator Transdev – the company behind the popular Cityzap, Coastliner and York & Country services from York – already offers contactless card ...

    Westmoreland Transit Launches New Mobile Ticketing App Powered by Masabi’s Justride Ticketing Platform
    Masabi PR
    Masabi, the company bringing Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) ticketing and payments to public transit and The Westmoreland County Transit Authority is pleased to announce that passengers can now purchase tickets to ride the bus via a mobile app. The new mobile ticketing app, WestMore Tix, offers an upgrade to current ticketing options by enabling riders to purchase and display tickets directly on their smartphones. WestMore Tix is now available for download from Google Play and the Apple App Store.

    Irish bus network commissions mobile ticket payments system
    Global Government Forum
    Ireland’s National Transport Authority (NTA) has awarded a contract to deliver a cashless and paperless ticketing process, to be rolled out on Irish buses later this year.

    Pay-as-you-go, contactless transport vision for Lancashire
    Lancashire Telegraph
    Bus and train passengers in Lancashire should one day be able to buy a single ticket for their combined journey – and pay the best price for it. …“We’re looking beyond the Oyster system – the number of people using it has dropped a lot,” Robin Miller-Scott, senior strategy officer at Transport for the North (TfN), said. “We recognise people can now use their bank cards, phones and watches on the transport network.” …The new system – which will include a pay-as-you-go option – will be rolled out across the North from 2020 onwards. No date has been set for when it will arrive in Lancashire.

    Automatic refunds on South Western Railway for delays
    Eagle Radio
    South Western Railway introduced the new scheme this Spring for those with Advance Purchase tickets or a Touch Smartcard season ticket from their ...

    Nottingham City Transport and touché complete a successful smartphone and beacon ticketing trial in Nottingham
    Touche PR
    Nottingham City Transport (NCT) and Touché-NFC Ltd (touché) have successfully completed their ticketing trial in Nottingham, designed to test the feasibility of a mobile phone solution that detects when and where passengers board and alight buses. …The objective of this trial was to find a way of recording point to point journeys automatically, which are the most challenging journeys, as traditionally only customer boarding information is captured.

    Eurostar aims to reduce paper ticket use with Google Pay
    Railway Gazette International
    Eurostar passengers can now save paperless tickets on Google Pay, in what the cross-Channel high speed train operator says is a 'first for ...

    Contactless: Catching the bus just got easier
    Successful trial sees tap-on/tap-off technology rolled out across Kinchbus and Trentbarton. Do you take contactless? It's a question that someone who ...

    'Take eTaxi with Octopus' Revolutionising Hong Kong's Taxi Payment Service
    In response to the increasing expectations of the government and passengers regarding quality taxi services, the Hong Kong Taxi Council – an organisation comprising 17 associations representing taxi owners, drivers and other stakeholders – has helped the industry launch the latest taxi-hailing app, "eTaxi". It will also collaborate with Octopus Cards Limited (OCL) in promoting the "Take eTaxi with Octopus" campaign, to revolutionise the taxi payment service in Hong Kong and boost Hong Kong's drive to becoming a Smart City.

    EV fast-charging station opens in Sunderland
    Charging and paying will then be possible with an EV charge card, debit/credit card, Apple Pay and Android Pay. Later in the year it will also be ...
    (This, just about the only charging point up North, will really accelerate the migration to EVs.  Petrol-Ed.)

    Queensland rolls out contactless driving licences
    NFC World
    Revamped 'tap and go' licences now available — The Queensland Times — “The updated design means the chip, which is now contained within the ...

    SWR passenger claims her Touch Smartcard prize draw win
    South Western Railway
    Switching is free and easy to do, and by using the Touch Smartcard, Ms Davidson benefits from buying and managing her Season or Single and ...

    ANPR speeds parking at Greater Anglia stations
    East Anglian Daily Times
    The programme will also see all on-site payment kiosks replaced, enabling payment by cash, card, Google wallet and Apple Pay. Alternatively ...
    (…and fine drivers extortionate amounts if they forget to pay.  Why not automate payment via the ANPR system?  Fleec-Ed.)

    Tyne Tunnel users can now travel 'with ease' thanks to new pay-and-go app
    TT2 Limited has launched a new app to help Tyne Tunnel users top up from their smart phones. The new app - available to download on iOS and Android phones - is available from today (April 8), and aims to enable customers to top up quicker and more conveniently. It will also allow customers to add and remove vehicle registrations, alongside access to their payment and travel history. The app will allow for account details, and stores previously added information for ease of use.

    Transit launches mobile ticketing with Masabi
    Masabi PR
    Masabi, the company bringing Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) ticketing and payments to public transit, has joined forces with Transit, North America’s leading mobility app, to announce the launch of integrated mobile ticketing in Transit. The first supported agency for mobile ticketing in Transit is the St. Catharines Transit Commission in Ontario. Its riders, more than half of whom already open Transit daily, can now buy, store and use tickets inside Transit. Riders don’t need to download a new app. Instead, they can purchase tickets on their phone anytime, anywhere, with the app they already use every day.

    How biometrics is reshaping the travel experience
    Facial recognition software and fingerprint scanning technology is not new to the industry, but the worldwide rollout has been slow and is only just ...

    Smart ticketing rolls out to more train stations
    Buying Business Travel
    Robert Nisbet, regional director at RDG, commented: “Together, rail companies are going full steam ahead with smart ticketing, with passengers ...

    Branson: Virgin trains will vanish from UK after Stagecoach ban
    The Guardian
    The Department for Transport has barred Stagecoach, Virgin's joint venture partner, from bidding for three new franchises – including West ...

    Oyster-style card smart travel system on way to Milton Keynes
    Milton Keynes Citizen
    An Oyster-style contactless card payment system is set to replace paper travel tickets in Milton Keynes and beyond. MK Council has made a bid for ...

    Cubic Awarded Contract from National Transport Authority to Deliver Mobile Ticketing System in Ireland
    Cubic Corporation
    Cubic Transportation Systems (CTS) business division was awarded a contract worth more than $4 million from the National Transport Authority (NTA) to deliver a mobile ticketing system for Ireland. Cubic’s scalable and low-risk solution will improve customer experience and provide users with a single capability to purchase tickets for multiple public transport operators.

    NXP and Google Pay Update Melbourne's Transit System
    Mobile ID World
    “Google Pay aims to create an effortless, immersive mobile transit experience for users, removing the friction of getting a ticket and saving valuable ...

    More rail passengers can go paperless by end of month
    ITV News
    Smart ticketing is available at almost all mainline stations across the country, with ticket barriers and readers improved and installed at 890 stations to ...Thousands more rail passengers in Britain will soon be able to switch to cashless travel as new technology is rolled out, an industry body has announced. Software updates being introduced this month will enable nine out of 10 tickets to be stored on mobiles or smart cards, according to the Rail Delivery Group (RDG).

    …and here’s how it all works (Ed.)…
    Smart Tickets
    National Rail Enquiries
    What happens if my smart ticket isn't downloaded on to my Smartcard? What happens if I present a Smart Ticket twice? Are tickets the same price ...

    How the London Underground brings in 53000 new contactless users a day
    ... enter the TfL each day, and one in eight contactless journeys come via Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay, or other mobile wallet apps.
    (Er, misleading headline? Ed.)


  • Ten Reasons to Join Smartex

      1. How will the explosive growth of IoT affect our market?
      2. Smart cards could soon be superseded by mobiles, but how and when?
      3. Which comms technologies, such as NFC, QR Barcodes, BLE or iBeacons could dominate?
      4. What is the national strategy for commercial public transport payment systems?
      5. How will the new breed of challenger banks impact existing Schemes and banks?
      6. Who will win in the emerging micropayment, e-payment, prepaid and m-payment worlds?
      7. Who will win the m-wallet wars, and is there really a future for m-wallets?
      8. How can we absorb and benefit from the biometrics revolution?
      9. Will fingerprint readers be in the smartphone, in the point-of-service device, or both?
      10. When will smart campus schemes migrate to mobiles and adopt biometrics?


    Smartex Forums debate & seek answers to these and other pressing, highly topical issues.

    Since 1993, over 570 of our sector-specific meetings have attracted over 18,500 delegate-days of attendance, with over 2,150 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.  We constantly modify the scope of our Forums to accommodate the ever-changing smart reality.   

    During 2018, some 550 different individuals attended our meetings, representing nearly 300 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 £1,000+ 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

  • January 2019.

    Three WGs have been set up:

    WG27 - Smart Integration for Whole Journeys

    WG28 - Developing a compelling Public Transport journey experience for tomorrow’s generation of travellers

    WG29 - Maximising the Value of PT-Generated Data

    If you are interested in participating in any of these, please contact