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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 1st July 2016

    UK: METRIC launches new parking terminal, the METRIC Sprite
    Parking Network

    'Smart card' travel ticket system for buses and trams finally has launch date
    Manchester Evening News
    Manchester will also get London-style contactless bank card payment 'by 2021'. The long-awaited 'smart ticketing' is aimed at all customers being ...

    This is how Google plans to take control of public transit and parking in the U.S.
    Android Authority

    Contactless travel payment en route for West Midlands commuters
    BBC News
    Commuters in the West Midlands will be able to pay for their journeys using contactless cards and smartphones. National Express West Midlands said ...

    UK: 2017 promise for Oyster card-style Metrolink+bus tickets
    Salford Online

    UK: Parkeon Joins-Up Parking with Retailing through City Connector
    Parking Network

    UK: Milton Keynes taxi company introduce new credit card, debit card, PayPal and Apple Pay system
    Milton Keynes

    Smart ticketing moves forward
    Rochdale Online
    Extending the get me there smart card on Metrolink to all passengers – currently get me there is available as an app on Metrolink but only Greater ...

    NFC grounded at take-off for airlines (but 300 million will use other contactless tech by 2020)
    One in five consumers will be using contactless ticketing on their mobile devices by 2020 – the equivalent of some 300 million people worldwide.

    Oyster Fares And Contactless Not Always The Same Price
    It's publicised that if you use contactless to pay for travel in London, it's the same price as using an Oyster card. But it's not always the case. We went ...

    UK: Parking without a ticket in the drop off area at airports
    Parking Network

    Passengers will 'tap in and out' with their bank cards or smartphones to save money
    Daily Mail
    Smart ticketing should just be an option. Even passengers who are IT-savvy now may not wish to live their lives in that way as they get older.' Caroline ...
    (…and in only 8 years! Express trains! Ed.)

    300m will use contactless ticketing on mobile and wearables by 2021
    NFC World
    The number of consumers using contactless ticketing on mobile or wearable devices will approach 300m by 2021, Juniper Research predicts.
    (Ed’s own research reveals that the true figure is actually 299,999,999.)

    Samsung Pay launches in Australia, time to ditch your wallet (and your train ticket?)
    The Korean company launched Samsung Pay in Australia today, partnering with American Express and Citibank to deliver the contactless mobile ...

    Account Based Ticketing (ABT) Project
    Abellio ScotRail Ltd
    This tender is for the implementation of an ITSO Account Based Ticketing System (ABT). ABT passengers will have their own account which is stored in the back office for functionality for both pre and post payment, with daily & weekly caps. Managing the passenger's travel rights through their account allows the ticket logic to be moved away from the physical Point of Service Terminal (POST) and into a central back office location. Initially a pilot will be conducted for a period of 6 months and operate on specified routes using the current ScotRail smartcard media.

    Gemalto partners transport operator Keolis Lille for contactless wristband payments during Euro 2016
    Gemalto, the world leader in digital security, announces the world's first commercial roll-out of a contactless transport ...

    UK: No 'fares freeze' for Oyster card users

    London's Tube Will Tweet You When It's Down With New TfL-Twitter Service
    The tube system's Oyster card, introduced in 2003, brought contactless payments to ticket barriers at a time when the idea was still something of a ...

    France: Xerox launches smartphone payment system for public transport

    Technavio Announces Top Five Emerging Trends Impacting the Global Transit Cards Market ...
    Business Wire (press release)
    The transportation sector is integrating smart card technology into fare collection systems because of the many benefits it offers in terms of ...

    UK: New Virgin Trains app brings mobile tickets on the East Coast Line
    The Lincolnite

    Cubic Launches New Smart City Transportation Solution on Microsoft Azure Cloud at ITS European Congress

    Could blockchain technology pave the way for the introduction of global single passenger tokens?
    Future Travel Experience
    To make this possible, the travellers' biometrics, such as a facial recognition scan, must be matched with their e-passport and boarding pass at the ...

    Helsinki selects Gemalto to launch mobile ticketing in-app billing
    Contactless Intelligence
    Gemalto has deployed a new mobile app-based ticket for the greater Helsinki area through its Netsize Transport Ticketing offer. Finnish users of the ...

    C2C launch first flexible season ticket
    "People across the south east are already benefitting from the ease and convenience of smart ticketing provided through the South East Flexible Ticket ...

    Rail companies fast-track mobile payment technology and barcode receipts
    Daily Mail
    Similar contactless solutions have also been seen outside London with Essex's C2C introducing a new smart card back in 2014. ... She added: 'If smart ticketing is to become established on our railways, it will mean the death of the ...












  • tcf-16-Logo
    Transport Card Forum Conference and Exhibition

    The Journey to Mobile

    27th and 28th September 2016

    The Queens Hotel, Leeds

    Smartex is pleased to announce that TCF16 will take place in central Leeds, emphasising the work being carried out to bring the North on board with integrated smart ticketing and payment.

    The overall theme for the two days will be to explore and understand the impact of the impending widespread use of smartphones for transport-related applications.

    The conference will also consider the difficulties and challenges over the next few years, where paper tickets, smart cards and mobiles will be used in parallel, probably alongside a variety of wearable technologies.

    Smartex will shortly commence marketing activities to attract some 20 sponsors and exhibitors to support the event, and is now developing the conference agenda in order to attract a wide variety of delegates from all sides of the smart transport game.

    For more early-bird information, please contact Richard Poynder at or on 01440 712610.

  • 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