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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.
  • TCF News

    Updated on 7th February 2019

    Passenger views sought on bid to extend pay-as-you-go on rail network
    The views of the travelling public will be at the heart of the government's renewed drive to make 'smart ticketing' on the rail network the norm rather ...

    Netherlands: All the network’s a stage with ticketing app
    Metro Report International
    Adding the ability to buy theatre and event tickets along with paying for travel is envisaged now that Rotterdam public transport operator RET has deployed an app-based mobile ticketing, payment and validation system developed by ByteToken, Bytemark and Thales Nederland.

    ITSO on Mobile launched
    Metro Report International
    UK: ITSO on mobile has gone live for public use on the West Midlands Metro tram line, bringing the UK's transport smart card standard to mobile ...

    Buses will be better run by local councils, say voters in a new poll
    Some 80% of voters said they supported a London-style pay as you go smart card ticket which caps daily spend automatically, and is only possible ...

    Uber new feature will let you pay transit fares through its app
    …Today, Uber will launch a new Transit feature in Denver that allows users to plan their trips with public transportation in mind, and in the near future, pay for rides on buses and trains in-app.
    (So, just maybe, seamless, integrated transport ticketing and payment may not just include Uber, it could be driven by Uber. Love it! Ed.)

    Mass Transit Rider Research Report: Key Factors Influencing Ridership in North America
    This report sheds light on some of the behaviours impacting public transit ridership across North America and explores the effect new technologies and new urban mobility services, such as ridesharing, are having on the mobility ecosystem. The report is based on a survey of over 1000 residents with access to public transit services.

    Account-based ticketing “coming soon”
    Smart Highways (press release)
    The UK rail industry could be offering country-wide account-based ticketing within two years using contactless payments as a means of improving the ...

    RTD in Denver Set to be First Agency to Offer Public Transit Mobile Ticketing in Uber App Using Masabi's Justride SDK
    Masabi PR
    Masabi, the company bringing Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) ticketing and payments to public transport, today announced that its partner the Regional Transportation District (RTD) in Denver will be the first transit agency to benefit from an integrated public transit experience within the Uber app.

    Rambus and Worldline Widen Collaboration in UK Rail
    Rambus PR
    Rambus Inc. (NASDAQ: RMBS), a global leader in smart ticketing, and Worldline, a European market leader in payments and transactional services, today announced the expansion of their collaboration to deliver innovation into UK rail. With the integration of Rambus remote ticket download (RTD) software, Worldline can now deliver ITSO-based smart tickets to customer smartcards with their @Station and Mobile Ticket Issuing Service (MTIS),  providing

    Harrogate first town in UK to introduce new age of smart parking
    North Yorks
    Harrogate Borough Council, which manages off-street car parks, and North Yorkshire County Council, which is responsible for on-street parking, have worked with AppyParking the UK’s leading smart parking technology firm, to deliver the scheme. Users who download the app will see real-time availability of spaces across Harrogate town centre thanks to more than 2,000 sensors in the ground, be able to navigate to the space and pay for a parking session with a single-click. The sensor technology means parking sessions automatically end when the vehicle is driven away.

    UK: Contactless payments and two new buses introduced in Dartford
    News Shopper
    Dartford bus users can now pay for their ticket using contactless payments with a number of routes operating within the borough now accepting cards on-board. Bus operator Arriva launched the new feature over the weekend following a multi-million pound investment.

    How can I get tickets for public transport in my favourite mobility app?
    James Gooch: Masabi PR
    We often get asked on social media, ‘Why can't I just buy my ticket through this app I use all the time?’ and you know what, it’s a good question. Well, thanks to a great piece of tech that the busy bees at Masabi have developed you can, and we have been working hard on it since it first went live in 2017 when the Justride SDK (Software Development Kit) was first integrated into our partner Kisio's journey planning service, called PlanBookTicket, in the French cities of Orleans and Montargis.

    Smoother journeys and flexible ticketing for public transport users
    ACT PR
    ACT, a Fujitsu company, is set to enable smoother journeys and flexible ticketing on public transport with the launch of Actora Account Based Ticketing (ABT). Currently, public transport users, outside of London, are presented with a bewildering number of options when choosing the most cost-effective ticket for their journeys. To select the best value ticket, passengers need to know the cost of a multitude of ticket options and their travel plans for the week ahead. It’s a time consuming, inconvenient and inflexible way to buy transport tickets. Actora ABT puts an end to this frustrating process for passengers by calculating the best value fare for their travel over the day or week and taking payment after they travel. Passengers just need to ‘tap on’ and ‘tap off’ transport services using a secure token such as a mobile phone or contactless bank card.

    FIME enhances smart ticketing services for transport
    FIME has strengthened its transport offering to deliver end-to-end support for smart ticketing projects. It is now accredited by Parisian transport authority Île-deFrance Mobilités to deliver testing and certification services in accordance with RCTIF 5.0, and Smart Ticketing Alliance1 in line with ISO CEN 16794. Transport players like local and national governments, vendors and ticketing service providers can now work with FIME from the start of their projects to overcome key challenges related to new standards and technology adoption, integration and compliance.

    UK: Council offering £2 Floating Bridge 'Oyster card' for free until April
    On The Wight
    Don’t get too excited, but for a limited period, Isle of Wight council are offering to give you their Floating Bridge ‘Oyster Card’, so you can load credit up on the card, to gradually spend on floating bridge journeys. The upside? You’ll pay less for the journeys.

    'Let passengers use oyster cards to get to Stansted Airport'
    Braintree and Witham Times
    London Travelwatch says rail passengers are mistakenly believing payments with Oyster and contactless cards are valid because the destination is ...

    Our top 5 smart ticketing predictions for 2019
    Our top 5 smart ticketing predictions for 2019. This entry was posted on Friday, January 25th, 2019. In 2018, public transport, in particular our railways, ...

    'I was charged £700 extra using contactless on the tube' – don't be caught out MoneySavingExpert
    You can use contactless credit and debit cards and mobile payment devices such as Apple Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay to pay for your travel ...

    The Advantages of a Smart Ticketing System for Smaller Operators
    ECR Retail Systems
    Invented by IBM in the early 1960s, the magnetic stripe ticket has become ubiquitous. The technology, which first debuted on metro systems in London ...

    Councillors campaign secures “contactless” payments on Sheffield Trams
    Big Stamp
    Following demands from Labour councillors, Supertram have announced that passengers will finally be able to use their bank cards to pay for tickets ...

    Luxembourg minister sets out free public transport details
    Metro Report, kindly submitted my Mike Eastham
    Transport Minister François Bausch announced details on January 21 of plans to offer free nationwide public transport. Free public transport is to be offered to all passengers, whether or not they are resident in Luxembourg, from March 1 2020 on all modes financed by the state and operating within the country’s boundaries. Funding would come from tax revenue, with no new taxes being introduced specifically for this purpose.

    Dutch rail operator pilots open loop ticketing service
    NFC World
    “Starting this weekend, the first travellers can check in and out with their own payment card instead of the OV chip card… Travel expenses incurred are processed overnight after the travel day and debited through the bank.”

    UK: West Yorkshire to step up digital transport payments
    UK Authority
    The West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA) is aiming for an increase in digital payments for public transport in the region. Its transport committee has approved a digital payment strategy that takes a ‘mobility as a service’ approach and involves an emphasis on using an app or web portal to access different types of transport, and to make payments through an account or single transactions.

    Bus passengers in Maidstone and Medway can pay using contactless cards from this weekend
    Kent Online
    From this weekend, you will be able to buy bus tickets using contactless payments in Medway and Maidstone. Arriva now accepts debit and credit ...

    Juniper Research
    A new study from Juniper Research found that users of mobile ticketing will total 1.9 billion by 2023, up from 1.1 billion in 2019. In comparison, the total number of digital ticketing users across mobile, online and wearable channels, will reach 2.2 billion by 2023.

    Etickets now available on all South Western Railway routes (No link: Ed.)
    Trainline’s Mobile Tickets and etickets are now available for use at over 1,800 stations* across Britain, including London Waterloo and the rest of the SWR network. You can book on the go up to 15 minutes before departure – and you’ll skip those infuriating ticket machine queues.

    Masabi and Jorudan Partner to Bring Mobile Ticketing to Japanese Transit Market
    Masabi PR
    Masabi, the company bringing Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) ticketing and payments to public transport, and Jorudan, Japan’s leading trip planning service, today announced that they have signed a partnership agreement to bring mobile ticketing to the Japanese transit market and integrate their best-of-breed services to deliver a seamless passenger experience.



    Smartex’s annual two-day Conference & Exhibition for the TCF

    Smart transport technology on the move

    25th & 26th September 2018

    Macdonald Manchester Hotel, London Road, Manchester M1 2PG

    Kindly supported by Transport for Greater Manchester


    Following last September’s record conference with Transport for the West Midlands (TfWM) in Birmingham, we are delighted to announce TCF18, supported by Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM), our two-day event for 2018 which this time will have as its main theme Smart transport technology on the move.

    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, with particular focus on the North West of England.

    TCF18 will be supported and enriched by our sponsors and other exhibitors, so far including ITSO (Lead sponsor), ACT a Fujitsu Company, Cammax, Creditcall, ESP Group, FAIRTIQFlowbird Transport Intelligence, Hammock, INIT, Paragon ID, Rambus, SmartranThe Hub Company, Ticketless by UrbanThings and Vix, who will be on hand to demonstrate and explain 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 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

    TCF18 AGENDA - Download the TCF18 Agenda


    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 25th September


    Our informal evening cocktail reception will be held in the exhibition room on Tuesday, 25th September.


    We are planning our traditional TCF18 dinner, and this will be held after the cocktail reception on Tuesday, 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 provided to Smartex beforehand. 


    Attendees at TCF18 may reserve overnight accommodation at the TCF18 event location, the Macdonald Manchester Hotel, at discounted B&B rates for a Classic Double room for single occupancy.  Smartex has allocated 25 such rooms for the night of 24th September, at a rate of £115, and 45 rooms for the night of 25th September, at a rate of £110.

    To reserve a room, please call 0344 879 9210 and quote 'Smartex Allocation' to receive the agreed rate.  You will need provide a card for guarantee at the time of the booking, and settle your own account on departure.  The cut-off date is Monday 27th August 2018.  From the cut-off date, the agreed rate is not guaranteed and any rooms not taken will be released automatically.  If additional rooms are required after the cut-off, then they will be subject to availability and not guaranteed at the agreed rate.


    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 TCF18 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.

  • 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