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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.
  • Updated on 19th August 2016

    How an IoT system is helping the trains run on time
    The Sydney Morning Herald
    An Australian technology minnow is turning heads here and around the world with one of the first examples of internet of things (IoT) technology that ...

    New rollout of ticketing system is complete!
    McGill’s Buses/Ticketer PR
    The Ticketer machines are now operational across all five of our depots, and utilise the back-office smart ticketing HOPS software and ISAMS solution provided by Scottish-based, Nevis Technologies.

    Cutpurse capers
    The Economist
    SMART-CARD public-transport ticketing systems let people hop between buses, subways, trams, surface rail and river boats—even when these are ...

    Transport: The driving force behind contactless payments in the UK
    Finextra (blog)
    It has been well documented that the transport industry has been the driving force behind contactless cards in the UK, with Transport for London being ...

    Snapper helps Ireland’s National Transport Authority ‘Leap’ ahead

    Korean airports upgrade access control with CIPURSE™ based security
    Infineon PR
    To further strengthen airport access control systems for its personnel, Korea Airports Corporation has been implementing a new solution based on the CIPURSE™ security standard. Infineon Technologies AG supplies the security chips for the electronic access control cards handed out to the staff.

    ACT Analytics delivers for SWSAL
    ACT PR
    As the adoption of smart ticketing continues across the South West, a huge amount of data is collected about passengers and their travel patterns. But data on its own is of limited value. Real value is only achieved if data is translated into meaningful information that can inform business decisions and service delivery. And that’s what ACT Analytics does, quickly and easily.

    TfL urged to release £223 million left by passengers on Oyster cards
    Evening Standard
    “The amount of money left on unused Oyster cards has been steadily growing but with the advent of contactless payment the amount of money left on ...

    Banks ask ACCC for right to negotiate jointly with mobile wallet providers
    Which-50 (blog)
    A key driver appears to be the fact that major public transport systems in Australia are set to begin trials of open-loop contactless payment technology.

    US: Cubic Awarded $33 Million to Take Miami Transit’s EASY Card System to the Cloud, Enabling Mobile and Open Payment

    Cash vs Cashless - which is cheaper to process for the operator?
    Parking Network

    Passengers face double penalty outside Oyster network
    Transport Network (press release) (registration) (blog)
    This was attributed to the July 2015 introduction of pay-as-you-go with Oyster and contactless payment systems at the Southeastern managed ...

    Australia: Surge in Opal cards as paper tickets are axed in NSW
    (Amazing factoid of the year: Ed.)

    Finally a wallet that stops Paywave and Transport cards clashing
    PRWire (press release)
    Opal, Myki and Go Card users can now travel on public transport without having to take their transport cards out of their wallets to tap on and off with ...
    (At last, a wallet that does something really useful, allowing Ed. to get on the Tube without faffing about to take his Oyster Card out.  If it really works…)

    Cape Town's Public Transport – the political obstacles to a unified smart card
    Most modern cities employ a unified smart card to facilitate more efficient and integrated public transport. Cape Town lacks such a system despite ...

    Cashless and ticketless parking coming to Gloucester
    Gloucestershire Live
    As well as giving visitors and tourists more freedom to explore the historic city, can pay by contactless debit or credit card with a 'wave and pay' option ...

    Technavio Announces Top Four Emerging Trends Impacting the Global Airport E-gates Market ...
    Yahoo Finance
    Therefore, biometric technology vendors and biometric scanner manufacturers are focusing on the development of contactless fingerprint scanners.

    Improvements to ticketing system much needed – Maynard
    Rail Technology Magazine
    He said that new forms of ticketing, such as smart ticketing and part-time season ticketing, needed to be “introduced in a timely fashion”. “It has been ...

    Parkeon Self-Service Ticketing Technology Shines in OPAL
    Parkeon PR
    The company has provided 255 ticket vending and smart card recharge machines for Transport for New South Wales (TfNSW) train, light rail and ferry terminals to issue disposable single trip cards and enable subscribers to reload their cards via cash or card.

    Can IoT and connected cars save a failing BlackBerry?
    The future of BlackBerry has been hazy for a while, as analysts speculate whether it can be made relevant again with a move into the trucking industry ...

    Applying IoT and Swarm Algorithms to Reduce Traffic Congestion
    IoT Evolution World (blog)
    Southern California recently experienced a 55-hour closure of the 91 Freeway, resulting in a 6-mile backup that intersected State Route 71 and ...

    Lost underground? IoT beacons help subway riders find their way
    Network World
    Navigating through a subway is like a scavenger hunt: You have to look for clues on where to go next. And GPS, though it works well above ground ...

    OV-chipkaart to be converted from smart card to ID-based system
    Railway Gazette International
    Trans Link Systems which manages the OV-chipkaart national multi-modal fare collection system has awarded Scheidt & Bachmann, Octopus Applications and independent ID-based ticketing specialist BlueBridge Transactions a contract to convert the technology from a smart card-based system where data is stored on a user’s card to an account-based system where calculations and billing are undertaken in the back office. This will permit the use of EMV bank cards and other contactless identifiers for ticketing.

    Cubic's License of Transport for London's Technology Sets Unprecedented Performance Standard ...
    Business Wire (press release)
    The licensed TfL solutions, EMV contactless chip card and mobile device payment acceptance and account-based systems can now be available for ...

    This could finally end our commuter pain
    A third of all journeys are now made not via London's Oyster smartcard but with bank cards enabled with technology such as MasterCard's PayWave.
    (The sales team from Visa and MasterCard hits Oz: Ed.)

    AU summit opens with launch of African e-passport
    (Kiss my pass: Ed.)

    UK: Smartcard travel cards launched on Durham's park and rides
    The Northern Echo

    The new way to pay: Contactless fingernails
    Finextra (press release)
    Forget Apple Pay, the cool new way to get around on London's Underground is to tap your contactless fingernails. For her degree in jewellery design ...
    (Here’s a real wearable winner. Just be careful not to shake hands with someone wearing an iWatch: Ed.)

    Why cloud-based biometrics must overtake the passport
    The Stack
    Air travel: Why cloud-based biometrics must overtake the passport ... Your ID and fingerprint information will be stored in a secure cloud, which will be ...

    No more hunting for change! Coventry bus services will soon accept contactless payments
    Coventry Telegraph
    Peter Coates, managing director of National Express West Midlands, said: “We know our customers want the choice of using contactless when they ...
    (Making it even easier to leave Coventry: Ed.)















  • TCF16_Logo

    Transport Card Forum Conference and Exhibition

    27th and 28th September 2016
    The Queens Hotel, Leeds


    Diamond Sponsor

    Platinum Sponsor

    Gold Sponsor

    Silver Sponsor
    Bronze Sponsor

    Badge Sponsor

    Stationery Sponsor





    We are delighted to invite you to this special two-day TCF meeting, supported by TfN, which this time will focus upon the smart transport schemes and initiatives in the north of England.  We shall be bringing together transport operators, consultants, suppliers, cities, local Government authorities and other industry specialists to learn about and debate the current status, challenges and future plans affecting the smart transport landscape in that region.

    As always, the Conference will be supported and enriched by our sponsors and other exhibitors, so far including Ecebs, ACT, PayzoneCammax, ESP Group, Smartrac, Parkeon, Penrillian, Burall InfoSmart, ITSO 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 expert speakers about the emerging strategy and tactics for enhancing the quality and spread of smart transport systems in the north of England
    • 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


    General theme: Bringing the North On Board

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

    • Transport for the North (TfN): what it is, why it’s there, where and when is it happening, and what is its relationship with Northern Regional smart transport schemes?
    • Influencers and influences: what overall considerations might influence the development of integrated smart ticketing and payments in the north, and which organisations will the main influencers be?
    • Regional scheme operators: cities and regions developing or operating smart transport schemes; where have they got to, how will TfN affect them, and how are they catering for the non- and under-banked?
    • Transport operators in the north: what are their plans and how might TfN affect them?
    • Issues: what are the main challenges facing the overall smart ticketing and payment schemes and aspirations in the north, and how is over-border travel being addressed?
    • National initiatives: what other smart initiatives will affect the systems being implemented in the north, e.g. EMV contactless-enabled cards?
    • New technologies: What new technical initiatives and solutions will affect smart transport in the near future, e.g. new technical standards, PAR, centrally-managed systems and the smartphone revolution?

    The Conference will also include sessions for debates, Q&A and syndicate groups.

    WHAT’S INCLUDED IN THE DEAL FOR DELEGATES? Included within that arrangement 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 27th September

    COCKTAIL RECEPTION An informal evening cocktail reception, kindly being sponsored by Smartrac, will be held in the exhibitor’s room on Tuesday, 27th September.

    INFORMAL DINNER Smartex is planning its traditional informal dinner, and this will be held after the cocktail reception on Tuesday, 27th September at a nearby restaurant. Guests will be asked to pay for their own meals (a reduced rate, thanks to sponsorship from ACT), and this may be done in advance with Smartex. Any particular dietary requirements or constraints should be passed to Smartex beforehand.

    ATTENDANCE TERMS FOR MEMBERS 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.


    • 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


    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

  • 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?
    • 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 e/m-payment players threaten the existing schemes?
    • 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, 510 of our sector-specific meetings have attracted some 16,000 delegate-days of attendance, with over 1,800 specialist speakers covering the entire spectrum of smart cards, mobile NFC, IoT, biometrics, RFID tags 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.

    During 2015, 499 different individuals attended our 20 meetings, representing 294 organizations.  And UK membership is growing, with record levels of new and renewing members.  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 growing and 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