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  • TCF

    The 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 TCF” Mel Pashley, Ecebs “The TCF 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 Virtual Event

    Smarter technologies for transport during and post COVID-19

    Wednesday, 4th November AND Thursday, 5th November 2020





    Wednesday, 4th November

    SESSION 1: Smarter transport operators

    10.30-10.35am: Welcome and introduction – Richard Poynder, Smartex and Simon Ardron, Department for Transport

    10.35-10.50am: How mobile technology can boost passenger confidence in transport safety – Tom Quay, Passenger
    10.50-11.00am: Q&A

    11.00-11.20am: Integrating capacity management during the pandemic & beyond – Chris Thompson, You. Smart. Thing. and David Williams, Transport for Wales
    11.20-11.30am: Q&A

    11.30-11.50am: Regional update – Alison Pilling & Jeremy Acklam, Transport for the North
    11.50-12.00pm: Q&A

    12.00-12.15pm: Midlands-wide travel card plans – Michael Wevill, Transport for West Midlands and Bharat Pathania, Midlands Connect
    12.15-12.30pm: Q&A and General Discussion

    SESSION 2: Innovative products and services in smart transport

    2.00-2.05pm: Welcome and introduction – Richard Poynder, Smartex and Simon Ardron, Department for Transport

    2.05-2.25pm: Getting passengers back on board – Darcy Harmer-Manning, Flowbird Transport Intelligence (TCF20 Overall Event Sponsor)
    2.25-2.35pm: Q&A

    2.35-2.50pm: ITSO on mobile – Michael Moir, Ottanta
    2.50-3.00pm: Q&A

    3.00-3.15pm: Multi-operator, single solution: Making mobile work for all – Carl Partridge, UrbanThings
    3.15-3.25pm: Q&A

    3.25-3.35pm: mango goes mobile: rapid deployment of ABT on mobile – Tom Morgan, trentbarton

    35-3.50pm: BODS, Buses and Butterflies – John Clarfelt, Ticketer
    3.50-4.00pm: Q&A and General Discussion

    Thursday, 5th November

    SESSION 3: Where are we going?

    10.30-10.35am: Welcome and introduction – Richard Poynder, Smartex and Simon Ardron, Department for Transport

    10.35-10.50am: The future of bus travel – Patrick Warner, Brighton & Hove Buses
    10.50-11.00am: Q&A

    11.00-11.20am: The future of rail travel – Chris Perry, KPMG and John Backway, Southeastern Railway
    11.20-11.30am: Q&A

    11.30-11.50am: The future of car travel – Trevor Crotch-Harvey, Fenbrook Consulting and Tom Buck, SWARCO
    11.50-11.55am: Q&A

    11.55-12.15pm: What do customers really want? – Felicity Heathcote-Marcz, Atkins Global
    12.15-12.30pm: Q&A and General Discussion

    SESSION 4: What solutions will service providers offer?

    2.00-2.05pm: Welcome and introduction – Richard Poynder, Smartex

    2.05-2.20pm: Future ticketing trends – Manfred Troll, Scheidt & Bachmann (TCF20 Sponsor)
    2.20-2.25pm: Q&A

    2.25-2.40pm: Accelerating the deployment of ABT on mobile - Paula Dauncey, ACT, a Fujitsu Company (TCF20 Sponsor)

    2.40-2.45pm: Q&A

    2.45-3.00pm: Ticketing solutions for everyone – Minesh Vandra, TransMach Systems (TCF20 Sponsor)
    3.00-3.05pm: Q&A

    3.05-3.20pm: Advice, Assistance and the Authority to Travel - Melvin Mayes, JourneyRight (TCF20 Sponsor)
    3.20-3.25pm: Q&A

    3.25-3.40pm: How biometric identity can support inclusive travel – Simon Binns, FinGo (TCF20 Sponsor)
    3.40-4.00: Q&A and General Discussion


    Thursday, 5th November


    If you have any questions, please contact Annabel Cartwright at or call +44 (0)1440 712610 or +44 (0)7785 254405.

  • TCF News

    Updated on 18th November 2020

    SARTA users give EZfare mobile ticketing app overwhelmingly positive reviews
    Masabi PR
    More than 86% of people who use the free EZfare mobile ticketing app are “extremely satisfied” with the innovative cashless fare payment system according to a recent survey of Stark Area Regional Transit Authority (SARTA) riders conducted by researchers from Cleveland State University’s Levin College of Urban Affairs. Developed by NEORide and the consortium’s technology partner Masabi…

    Regional Transit Service integrates transit tickets into mobility-as-a-service app
    NFC World + Masabi
    They can also opt to buy a reloadable RTS Go smart card to make onboard contactless fare payments that can be topped up via the app, on a web ...

    Why the 2020s Will Be a Defining Decade for Smart Ticketing
    RFID Journal
    In the midst of the global payment disruption, smart ticketing has become a mega-trend. Contactless cards have gained impetus over the ...

    Transport for London sticks to Oyster in new fare collection system
    Transport for London (TfL) is planning to move its Oyster prepayment cards to the same back-office system it uses for contactless payments, as part of a new revenue collection system contract worth up to £1.1bn. The transport provider said the move will allow the legacy back-office system currently used for Oyster to be retired. Passengers still use Oyster cards in the same way, but data will move from the cards to the central system also used for contactless card payments. The information appears in a prior information notice for a new revenue collection system contract which will run from 2025.

    Green Motion launches contactless car rental at UK's largest airport
    Green Motion
    Green Motion announced today the launch of their contactless car rental service 'Drive & Go' at London Heathrow Airport, delivering a frictionless contact-free experience to both airport and domestic car rental customers

    More on this story (Ed.)
    New feature on c2c app to revolutionise ticket buying process
    EAST London and South Essex train operator c2c has launched a brand new app feature, which allows customers to load tickets directly onto their Smartcard so they can travel straightaway. Using NFC (near-field communication) technology, the new in-app loading allows customers to quickly load tickets prior to arriving at the station by simply opening the c2c Train Travel App and holding their Smartcard against their mobile phone.

    Nottingham launches new Robin Hood app
    The benefits of travelling using an ITSO enabled Robin Hood smartcard have just been extended with the launch of a new ticketing app that lets customers top up wherever they are.

    Transport for London dangles £1.1bn carrot in pursuit of suppliers for new revenue collection deal
    The Register
    Transport for London, the body responsible for public transport and infrastructure in Europe’s largest city*, is set to begin talks with suppliers over a potential £1.1bn deal for collecting money for travel. At pre-COVID levels, TfL took in about £5bn from paying customers across the English capital every year, supporting 16 million journeys per day. It is now looking for “possible approaches to the procurement of a new revenue collection system contract” in a market teaser otherwise known as a Prior Information Notice. As part of the new contract, the transport authority expects an overhaul of the ticketing and payment infrastructure familiar to any London-dwelling traveller. The old pneumatic powered gates, mainly found in central London, will be replaced, as will the current ticket validation readers.

    Nottingham begins rollout of multi-operator contactless ticketing system
    NFC World
    Nottingham City Transport (NCT) has become the first transportation operator in the UK city to roll out Nottingham Contactless, a multi-operator ticketing system that lets passengers use open-loop debit and credit cards and NFC mobile phones to pay for fares across multiple transportation operators.

    Masabi, Rochester Regional Transit Service launch account-based ticketing solution powered by ...
    The technology, powered by Masabi's Justride platform, means riders will no longer need to buy a ticket and will be able to use their RTS Go smart card ...

    Contactless points appear at Merseyrail stations ahead of 'exciting new developments'
    Liverpool Echo
    Video taken at one Merseyrail station by YouTuber johnboyMc22 shows a small yellow box with the contactless payment symbol on the front. A display ...

    Cardiff Bus & Passenger sign a new 3-year contract
    Passenger PR
    Cardiff Bus has renewed its app and website contract with UK technology company Passenger, and is looking forward to another three years working with Britain’s leading digital transport services provider.

    UK: INIT provides multi-client contactless ticketing system for Nottingham
    A step towards passenger and driver safety in trying times and a means for faster boarding: INIT has devised a contactless ticketing system for Nottingham’s three public transport providers Nottingham City Transport (NCT), CT4N and Nottingham Trams Ltd. (NET Trams). “Nottingham Contactless” is the first multi-operator ticketing system in the United Kingdom outside London.

    Smart ticketing market to witness steady growth of 19% during 2020-2026
    Telemedia Online
    Smart ticketing is a system which enables electronically storing tickets in a microchip. Here, the microchip is embedded on a smart card. In terms of ...

    Smartphone tickets set to launch on Metro - with plans for Tube-style contactless payment barriers ...
    Shields Gazette
    'Host card emulation (HCE) – aka smart ticketing on mobile phones – to ... said: “A lot of customers have asked just to use contactless bank cards on ...

    Masabi and Japanese Partner Jorudan Continue Mobility-as-a-service (MaaS) Expansion with the Launch of In-app Mobile Ticketing in Okayama Prefecture
    Masabi PR
    Masabi, the company bringing Fare Payments as-a-Service to public transit and Jorudan, Japan’s leading trip planning service, today announced that they have launched in-app mobile ticketing for Shimotsui Dentetsu in the Okayama Prefecture, focused on helping locals and visitors travel around the area.

    How do I load tickets onto my Smartcard?
    Hold your Smartcard against your phone and follow the on screen instructions. Select OK if you're ready to load; You'll see a tick showing your ticket has ...
    (Ed. can’t tell if this item is news or history)

    TransMach TM920: A ticketing solution ‘with small to medium operators at its heart’
    TransMach PR
    Norfolk-based Coach Services has partnered with tech supplier TransMach to roll out a new contactless ticketing solution across its network

    Cubic and Sqills Continue Modernization Efforts for Iarnrod Eireann Irish Rail
    Cubic Corporation (NYSE:CUB) today announced its Cubic Transportation Systems (CTS) business division was awarded a contract worth more than $11 million to provide Iarnród Éireann Irish Rail with ongoing enhancements to its ticketing system. As part of the contract, Cubic’s partner and industry-leading ticketing SaaS provider Sqills, has started the migration of its booking, reservation and revenue management software, S3 Passenger from on premise hosting to Software as a Service (SaaS) mode.

    5G enabled road and rail transport trials in the West Midlands, round 2
    UK registered businesses can apply for a share of up to £2.5 million to support development of 5G enabled transport innovations.

    Thales installs thermal cameras at 108 Network Rail critical staff locations to monitor for Covid-19
    Thales has rolled out the installation of thermal cameras at over 108 critical Network Rail staffing locations across Britain as a safety measure to help protect staff.

    Australia calls for bids on biometric platform for passenger declarations, visas
    Biometric Update
    Australia’s Home Affairs Department has launched a call to tender for the installation of a biometric technology system that will facilitate seamless digital passenger declarations and visa processes for persons traveling in and out of the country.

    Government to provide up to £1.7bn funding for TfL as passenger numbers fall
    Bdaily National
    A London transport organisation has announced that it will be receiving up to £1.7bn of funding from the government due to a fall in passenger numbers. Transport for London (TfL), which operates the city’s buses and Underground system, has agreed on a funding package from the Department for Transport, which will provide the company with a core amount of £1bn.

    Santa Cruz Metro and Masabi launch Metro Splash Pass contactless mobile ticketing app
    The cash-free, contactless, and COVID-19 safe, mobile ticketing solution allows METRO riders to purchase fares and display tickets on their ...

    Innovative payment technologies that commuters will love
    NMI Newsbites
    Social distancing has consumers making payments from their cars -- and wary of cash and using PIN pads. Here’s how you can meet the demand for safe, seamless payments for commuters.

    Shapps blocks TfSE application for statutory status
    Transport Network
    Transport secretary Grant Shapps has tried to backtrack over an assertion by a junior minister that the Government 'would not approve any proposals for statutory status' from sub-national transport bodies.

    UK: Calgary Transit is en-route with Access-IS ticket validators
    Access-IS, part of HID, is excited to announce the integration of its VAL100 ticket validators by Masabi for Calgary Transit

    Cardiff Bus pause active tickets during national lockdown
    Passenger PR
    After a further lockdown was declared from Friday 23 October, Cardiff Bus placed a pause on its active 4 Week To Go, 4 Week To Go Plus and annual tickets in an effort to help relieve financial stress for customers. UK technology company Passenger, are the developers and providers of the Cardiff Bus app and website, which are used by hundreds of thousands of people in Wales.

    ‘Time to reinvent ourselves’: John Clarfelt to step down as Ticketer CEO
    Route ONE
    As Ticketer welcomes Andy Monshaw as its new CEO, routeone speaks with incumbent John Clarfelt to talk strategy and the reason behind the change in leadership
    (Ed. doesn’t normally cover promotions and transitions, but will make an exception with this one)

    The trends driving Europe's mass transit future forward
    Intelligent Transport
    Closed-loop smart cards and other legacy payment systems are, among other inconveniences, costly to manage. For example, in 2010, TfL spent ...

    Free bus travel for under-19s in Scotland due to begin next year
    Under the new scheme, smart cards will be provided to all Scottish residents aged between 5 and 18, which will remain valid for free travel until their ...

    Transportation IOT: Keeping our roads safe
    Cambridge Wireless
    ... Internet of Things (IIoT), spending approximately $78 billion from 2016-2018. Safety is a part of 'Transportation IOT' that is vital for overall success.

    Wales to nationalise rail services
    Transport Network
    The Welsh Government is to bring the Wales and Borders rail franchise under public control, ‘in the face of dramatic falls in passenger numbers’. The new arrangements will see day to day rail services become the responsibility of a new publicly owned subsidiary of Transport for Wales (TfW)

    Contactless Ticketing Smart Card Shipments Fall 10% in 2020 as Transport Networks Close ...
    PR Newswire UK
    In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the worldwide shipments of contactless ticketing smart cards are set to fall from 439.7 million in 2019 to 393.9 million in 2020, according to ABI Research

    New contactless and cash-free Metro travel for Under 16s
    A new smart card, called Junior blue, can be bought and topped up online, meaning passengers don't need to think about carrying cash or using ticket ...

  • 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:



    Smart Payments Forum

    Mobile & Identity Forum

    Internet of Things Association

    International Biometrics Forum - coming soon

    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