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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.
  • 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

    Register now online here

    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, already including Euclid, ITSO, Creditcall, Cammax, INIT, Parkeon, ESP Group, Smartrac, ACT, Rambus, Burall Infosmart and The Hub 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

    Click here for the TCF17 Outline 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

    • Account-based ticketing (ABT)
    • Scottish national e-purse
    • Pay by Bank
    • The future of ITSO
    • Using the Cloud
    • Future ticketing technologies: new authentication methods such as biometrics
    • 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
    • Views from a young passenger
    • Modal shift to other types of public transport
      • Uber and its competitors
      • HS2/autonomous-electric cars
    • Mobility as a Service
    • How shall we pay for using new forms of transport?
    • Demographics of the future
    • Case study from TfWM/Midlands Connect
    • Supplier presentations


    Session 4 (Day 2 afternoon)

    Session theme: Are we going in the right direction?

    • Breakout with syndicate groups
    • 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 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 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 passed to Smartex beforehand. 



    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 (0)1440 712610.

    If you are considering exhibiting, please contact Lawrence Faulkner at or call + 44 (0)7717 218767.


  • Updated on 20th August 2017

    UK: Comment: There must be a better way to pay for parking
    Transport Network
    Recent research by the AA found that cashless parking machines that accept payment by calling or texting an automated service are extremely unpopular among drivers, with two thirds refusing to use them.

    London Midland Services Bumped In The West Mids
    Capital FM
    Smart ticketing and live passenger information will also be rolled out under the contract. Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said: "This is great news ...

    Smart ticketing for bus travel goes paperless
    Eurotransport (press release) (registration) (blog)
    On behalf of Stagecoach, Andrew Mills talks to Eurotransport about the company's new smartphone app which will not only save passengers money ...

    The future of mobile point of sale in rail
    Global Railway Review
    Rail operators should be able to facilitate and accept payments from cards and mobile wallets via MPoS systems that increasingly accept contactless ...

    Millions of Stagecoach bus passengers now benefitting from contactless travel
    Stagecoach Group
    Millions of Stagecoach passengers now have access to contactless bus travel as Britain's biggest bus operator continues to roll-out the technology ...

    UK: Contactless is Now Available to Use on Thamesdown Buses!
    Total Swindon
    From now on, you will find it easier than ever to travel around Swindon - thanks to the introduction of contactless payments on Thamesdown Buses.

    An Oyster card-style system that gets you from Newcastle to Liverpool could soon be a thing
    “New smart card technology is going to be a big part of the picture and we've got a lot of work going into developing a Oyster system for the North East ...

    Tram Season Tickets Set To Go Smart
    Nottingham City Council PR
    Season tickets for Nottingham’s tram network will go ‘smart’ when they make the switch to the Robin Hood Card next week.

    Council launches digital parking app trial
    Digital by Default News
    AppyParking, the award-winning parking app, has partnered with the Department of Transport and Westminster Council to launch One Click Parking, the world’s first pay-as-you-go parking payment solution using connected car technology which promises to reduce traditional parking from 20 minutes to 30 seconds.

    UK publishes Laws of Robotics for self-driving cars Privacy and security principles for connected and autonomous vehicles
    The Register
    The United Kingdom has published a set of “Key principles of vehicle cyber security for connected and automated vehicles” outlining how auto-makers need to behave if they want computerised cars to hit Blighty's byways and highways.

    Ireland welcomes its first self-service airport gates
    Planet Biometrics
    They use face recognition on passengers while electronically checking the authenticity of biometric passports. Travelers are required to look towards ...

    What's Wrong With Airport Face Recognition?
    ACLU (blog)
    It utilizes the most dangerous biometric: face recognition. While Congress has directed CBP to collect biometrics from noncitizens as part of the ...

    New get me there smart card launched for all bus and tram journeys
    Leigh Journal
    For the first time people in the Wigan borough and wider Greater Manchester can use a single get me there smart card for all their journeys on any bus ...

    Everything you need to know about the Get Me There cards: How do I get one and how does it work?
    Manchester Evening News
    Introduction of smart ticketing on trains forms part of Transport for the North's plans to introduce smart ticketing across all modes across the north.

    Tram season tickets to switch to Robin Hood Cards next week
    Nottingham Post
    ... customers who renew their season tickets from Monday, August 7, will see their usual passes replaced with the city-wide contactless travel cards.

    Why will it take until 2021 for us to get a proper transport ticket system like they have in London?
    Manchester Evening News
    Users can only buy bus and tram tickets for their card - rather than topping up a balance as you would with an Oyster. Meanwhile, contactless payment ...

    Ticket machines and cash payments could soon be scrapped at Croydon tram stops
    Croydon Advertiser
    Croydon's tram network could soon go contactless as Transport for London (TfL) is considering scrapping paper tickets and cash payments next year.

    UK: "This means you can top up easily without having to return to your car”: New car parking meters which accept card introduced across Dorset
    Dorset Echo
    Visitors parking at car parks in Dorset will no longer have to dig deep for change when paying for a parking ticket. The Dorset Council’s Partnership has almost finished upgrading its car parking meters so visitors can pay for tickets by card, cash and by using their mobile phones.

    Global Smart Transportation Market by Solution Type ( Ticketing, Parking Management, Passenger ...
    PR Newswire (press release)
    ... solution, passenger information solutions, electronic fare payment, and smart ticketing solutions are becoming ubiquitous in transportation systems.

    Could host card emulation (HCE) be the answer to launching mobile ticketing solutions?
    OSPT Alliance
    In our newly published video on HCE, we explore how the cloud-based security technology can be best utilized in conjunction with CIPURSE to deliver a simple, non-proprietary solution that allows transport operators to integrate mobile ticketing solutions quickly, securely and cost-effectively into existing ticketing systems.

    Singapore airport to open new terminal with automated face recognition system
    Biometric Update
    Earlier this month, the Singaporean government revealed it is testing a full self-service system with biometrics and passport scans for immigration ...

    Australian airports to introduce new 'contactless' traveller clearance system
    Airport World Online
    Vision-Box has today entered into a contract with the Australian Government to deliver what it claims to be the world's first automated 'contactless' ...

    UK – Lothian Buses introduce pilot 'contactless payment' scheme
    Embedded Security News 
    Lothian Buses introduce pilot 'contactless payment' scheme. By Phyllis Stephen | July 28, 2017. 0 Comment. If you are using Lothian's Airlink ...

    Tees Valley operators join forces for latest smart card ticketing initiative
    Eurotransport (press release) (registration) (blog)
    The new Smart Easyrider smart card (which has been developed in partnership by all three bus

    Will UK replace railway ticket gates with 3D face recognition?
    Planet Biometrics
    A trial is in underway in Britain that uses face recognition to authenticate railway passengers. The trial system, which is being developed by the Bristol Robotics Lab, is being partly funded by government and the private sector.

    No cash required: Morebus passengers can pay by contactless card, Apple and Android
    Bournemouth Echo
    Morebus managing director Andrew Wickham said: “From now on we will be accepting all contactless payment types, including Apple and Android

    Conduent Showcases its Seamless Transportation System (press release) (registration) (blog)
    Bill Brunet, vice president of sales, for Conduent explained that there is a green button on the fare gate turn style that is a contactless sensor. It uses ...

  • 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:

    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

  • 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