Slide background
  • 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 annual two-day Conference & Exhibition

    The journey to integrated mobility

    24th & 25th September 2019

    Marriott Royal Hotel, College Green, Bristol

    Kindly supported by Smart Applications Management

    Following last September’s record-breaking conference in Manchester, we are delighted to announce TCF19, which this time will have as its main theme 'Making technology meet travellers' needs'.

    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.

    This year we shall also be running an in-depth Masterclass on Monday 23rd September 2019, at the event venue.  This will appeal to those wishing to benefit from a highly interactive day with specialists who will explain the range of smart transport operations, applications and products relevant to the traveller of the future.  There will be a charge for attendance at this Masterclass, with discounted rates for Smartex members.  For more details please visit Smart Transport Masterclass.


    • 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


    Click on the link to view the TCF19 Event Agenda


    TCF19 will be supported and enriched by our sponsors and other exhibitors, so far including UrbanThings (Lead sponsor), ACT a Fujitsu Company, Cammax, Elatec, Euclid, FAIRTIQ, Flowbird Transport, INIT Innovations in Transportation, ITSO, NMI, Paragon ID, Rambus, The ESP Group, The Hub Company, Transmach and Smartran 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.

    If your organisation is interested in supporting TCF19 as an exhibitor, please contact Annabel Cartwright on 07785 254405 or  To book your place please complete the Sponsorship Booking Form


    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 24th September
    • Attendance at our Masterclass on 23rd September


    Our informal evening cocktail reception will be held in the exhibition room on Tuesday, 24th September.


    We are planning our traditional annual dinner, and this will be held after the cocktail reception on Tuesday, 24th 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 TCF19 (and at the Smart Transport Masterclass) may reserve overnight accommodation at the event location, the Marriott Royal Hotel, at a discounted rate of £134/room/B&B.  To secure this rate, please either follow the Smartex Overnight Accommodation Booking link or call 0800 221222 and quote SMARTEX.

    Other nearby hotels, at a variety of rates between about £90 and £140 per night, are:

    • Radisson Blu
    • Hotel Ibis (Bristol Central)
    • Travelodge (Bristol Central)
    • Premier Inn (Finzels Reach)

    We suggest using to make reservations at any of these.


    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 TCF19  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.

  • TCF News

    Updated on 7th September 2020

    LA Metro and Cubic facilitate touch-free travel
    …The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LA Metro) has introduced a new Transit Access Pass (Tap) contactless mobile app, offering travellers a convenient way to safely pay for their journeys. LA Metro partnered with Cubic Transportation Systems (CTS) to introduce the Tap mobile app so now it and 25 participating Tap agencies across Los Angeles County can offer customers touchless bus and rail fare payment options. CTS has also enabled the Tap card on iPhone and Apple Watch.

    Cubic and WMATA Introduce SmarTrip on iPhone and Apple ...
    Cubic PR
    Cubic Corporation (NYSE:CUB) today announced its Cubic Transportation Systems (CTS) business division and the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) enabled SmarTrip on the iPhone and Apple Watch, giving transit riders a contactless way to pay for their journeys on trains and buses in Washington D.C., Maryland and Virginia.

    Telcos eye $3bn eSIM opportunity from connected cars
    Operators could generate an additional $3 billion of service revenue by 2025 from cars equipped with embedded SIM (eSIM) cards.

    Masabi and Partner Jorudan continue Mobility-as-a-Service Expansion in Japan with Mobile Ticketing in-app Service for Kagoshima and Hachijo-jima
    Masabi PR
    Masabi, the company bringing Fare Payments-as-a-Service (FPaaS) to public transport, and Jorudan, Japan’s leading trip planning service, today announced that they have extended their partnership with the launch of mobile ticketing in Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS) apps for two further agencies, adding to those already live in Tokyo, Oita, Kitakyushu and Nikko Kotsu.

    Apple Pay launched on South Western Railway App
    Apple Pay makes it easier for passengers to buy their tickets online. All passengers need to do is use an Apple Device, like an iPad or iPhone, to access ...

    East Midlands secures rail collaboration agreement with DfT
    Transport Network
    Transport secretary Grant Shapps has signed off a multi-year agreement with Transport for the East Midlands (TfEM) that provides local leaders with a formal voice in the management of the East Midlands franchise, which has been run by East Midlands Railway (EMR) since August 2019.

    Thameslink's 'keyGo' smartcard to accept Railcards
    This is a first for the rail industry for discounts with smartcard technology, and means passengers with railcards can now tap in and out of railway ...

    Bus operator, trentbarton, chooses ACT to deploy Account Based Ticketing with Barcodes
    ACT a Fujitsu Company
    ACT, a Fujitsu company, has signed a five-year deal with bus operator, trentbarton, to supply an Account Based Ticketing (ABT) solution through an intuitive barcode app for smartphones.

    Southern and Thameslink passengers told about new discount benefits
    The Argus
    The contactless system removes the need to queue or book ahead, ... This industry-first expansion of smartcard technology on National Rail means ...

    Mind the Gap: Network Rail trials distancing app
    Transport Network
    A new social-distancing app is ready for industry-wide deployment after a successful pilot with Network Rail, its developers have said.

    Transit app and Masabi launch Montreal’s first mobile fare solution for ARTM, covering all Montreal-area buses
    Masabi PR
    Transit, North America’s leading mobility app and endorsed app of the Société de transport de Montréal (STM) and Masabi, today launched a new single-ride bus fare from the Autorité régionale de transport métropolitain (ARTM), the Montreal region’s public transit governing authority.

    Research volunteers throw humans under the facial recognition bus
    Biometric Update
    Which is inherently more trustworthy – facial recognition performed by biometric AI or people? According to a new government study, people are more ...

    Here are some top tips for pupils wearing masks on school transport
    Glasgow Times
    …School pupils must allow passengers exiting the bus to get off before they get on, wear a face covering before boarding and must not remove the covering until they have got off the bus. They must sit at the back of the bus alongside other pupils, ring the bell so passengers don’t have to queue to disembark, observe social distancing at all times, pay by smartcard or contactless
    (Um, just eight rules then: Ed.)

    Back to School travel with Southeastern thanks to The Key contactless card
    Students are being urged to register for a contactless travel card with Southeastern. The Key cards are able to be loaded with a range of tickets, from ...

    Scots Tory leader unveils new economy blueprint
    The Scotsman
    Mr Ross previously called for accelerated infrastructure investment with proposals for a three-lane M8, a Scottish Smart Travel Card for contactless travel, faster rail links from Edinburgh to Aberdeen and Inverness, and a joint UK-Scottish Government infrastructure vehicle. But the plan has been dismissed as “empty rhetoric” by SNP Deputy leader Keith Brown.
    (A Scottish Smart Travel Card? Ed. has dim memories of that pledge about six years ago, not from the Tories but from the Scottish Government.)

    COVID-19 impact on passenger numbers at SE1 tube stations revealed
    London SE1
    Tube journeys started at Southwark Station 13 January to 21 August where the payment method was Oyster or contactless (NB station open weekdays ...

    Can't wear a mask on the buses? Take a card with you
    Oxford Mail
    OXFORD Bus Company and Thames Travel have produced a free card to help passengers who are exempt from wearing a face mask. The bus operators have created cards that state ‘please be supportive. I’m exempt from wearing a face covering’ to help those passengers who cannot wear one.

    Internet of Things in Railways
    ARC Advisory Group
    The Internet of Things in Railways Market Research report delivers current ... There is no doubt that Industrial Internet of Things (IoT) is the Fourth ...

    Ticket types
    Arriva Bus
    Contactless payment. Plan my journey. Find my bus. Where are you coming from? Where do you want to go? Plan my journey. Arriva Bus. Buy tickets.
    (Not complicated, then? Confus-Ed.)

    Technical Delivery Lead - Smart card/Smart Ticketing solutions
    Proven experience managing complex projects, ideally smartcard/smart ticketing solutions; Strong understanding of technical architecture, principles ...
    (£80K, City: nice. Ed.)

    Covid-19 'will transform public transport' - Cubic Transportation Systems
    "Post COVID-19, demand for contactless fare collection has skyrocketed," says Mr Walker. "Three quarters of consumers now say they will look to use ...

    CAT launches rideCAT mobile ticketing app with Masabi
    The Paypers
    Masabi has partnered with Collier Area Transit (CAT) to launch a new mobile ticketing application for riders using CAT’s services. The mobile ticketing app, called rideCAT, offers an upgrade to current ticketing options by enabling riders to purchase and display tickets directly on their smartphones anywhere and at any time.

    Juniper Research
    A new study from Juniper Research has found that digital ticket transaction volumes will exceed pre-COVID levels by 2022; rising from 12.7 billion in 2020 to 32 billion in 2022. It anticipates that continued easing of global travel restrictions will drive increased demand for mobile ticketing in the rail, metro and bus sectors, as commuters return to work.

    Blog: Saskatoon Transit awards contract to Masabi to deliver next generation mobile and account-based ticketing solution
    Masabi PR
    Masabi, the company bringing Fare-Payments-as-a-Service (FPaaS) to public transit, today announced that it has been selected by Saskatoon Transit to deliver a next generation fare payment system utilizing its market-leading Justride platform. The company will deliver a comprehensive and innovative account-based fare payment and validation solution to Saskatchewan’s largest city in 2021.

    Blog: Collier Area Transit Launch rideCAT Contactless Mobile Ticketing App with Partner Masabi
    Masabi Blog
    Collier Area Transit (CAT), the public transportation agency in Collier County, Florida, and Masabi, the company bringing Fare Payments-as-a-Service to public transit, today announced they have launched a new mobile ticketing application for riders using Collier Area Transit’s services. The mobile ticketing app, called rideCAT, offers an upgrade to current ticketing options by enabling riders to purchase and display tickets directly on their smartphones anywhere and at any time.

    Supplier Correction (Ed.)
    New Ticket Machines and Smartcards for Transport for Wales
    The card-only and cash & card ticket vending machines contract was awarded to Scheidt and Bachmann (UK) Limited in 2019 with rollout commencing in 2020 through to 2021.

    LNER contactless car parking is just the ticket
    LNER is introducing a new contactless parking system across the East Coast route, enabling customers to have a contactless journey experience from ...

    First Dorset busses go contactless
    Dorset Echo
    FIRST Dorset is now accepting Express Mode for Apple Pay on its buses to offer passengers another contactless method to avoid using cash. Express ...

    Council to reintroduce cash payments at car parks
    Stoke-on-Trent Live
    “Our parking machines offer both 'chip and pin' and contactless options as means of payment.
    (Stoke-on-Trent leads the payments revolution with its daring leap into the 20th century. Ed.)
    …but they are not alone (Ed.)

    Comment: The decarbonising transport consultation is a chance for real change
    Transport Network
    Chief executive of the Campaign for Better Transport, Darren Shirley, argues there is a chance for real change in transport and we can't afford to let it slip by.

    Blog: Everything You Need to Know About Contactless Ticketing for Public Transport (cEMV)
    Masabi Blog
    …The term "contactless ticketing" has been adopted to refer to the use of contactless bank cards to tap and ride on public transport systems. In this blog post, we'll be focusing on the use of contactless bank cards and these same cards emulated through Apple Pay and Google Pay on mobile for use as a means to simply tap and travel on public transport.

    Are we entering the fourth era of public transport?
    Philippe Vappereau – Calypso – via iseepr
    This may seem a bold claim, but the worldwide Covid-19 pandemic has acted as a catalyst in driving forwards a fast-paced reaction from the transport industry. It is clear that things will not – indeed, cannot – be the same again. …Public transport today faces a cruel paradox: operating the capacity to handle mass passenger flows when needed, while helping facilitate social distancing to keep people safe if Covid-19 persists or returns.

  • 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