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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.

    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 attendance rates for Smartex members.


    • 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


    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 and The Hub Company, 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 may reserve overnight accommodation at the TCF19 event location, the Marriott Royal Hotel, at a discounted rate of £134/room/B&B.  Other nearby hotels, at a variety of rates between about £90 and £140 per night, are:

    • The Bristol Hotel
    • 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 14th June 2019

    France: 'Navigo Easy': Meet the new Paris Metro card launched today
    The Local
    The days of the classic cardboard Paris metro ticket are numbered as the French capital launches its version of London’s Oyster Card on Wednesday.

    Travelock 2 Smart TSA Fingerprint Lock is approved for air travel
    Gadget Flow (blog)
    The Travelock 2 Smart TSA Fingerprint Lock will make your next flight a breeze. This TSA-approved lock uses 360° fingerprint recognition. This means ...

    Who, Where, Why and When? Using Smart Card and Social Media Data to Understand Urban ...
    This study describes the integration and analysis of travel smart card data (SCD) with points of interest (POIs) from social media for a case study in ...

    Arriva Chester buses to offer contactless card payments
    The Chester Standard
    All buses will feature the option to pay for their fares by contactless debit card or via Apple or Google Pay, in addition to the traditional methods of coin ...

    Developing cross-border ticketing in public transport networks
    Intelligent Transport
    While borders are less and less noticed when travelling by car, they still have a huge impact on cross-border public transport. However, as Dominik Elsmann and Julia Quitmann from Aachener Verkehrsverbund GmbH (AVV) explain, the digital age is making cross-border travel simple and seamless.

    Richard Leonard: give Glasgow a London-style system for public transport fares
    Transport for London allows passengers to use Oyster smart-cards and contactless payment across the Underground, buses, trams and rail networks.

    Masabi Brings Contactless Tap and Ride Ticketing to Cities of Any Size and Budget with New Multi-Format Scanning Device
    Masabi PR
    Masabi, the company bringing Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) ticketing and payments to public transport, today launched the Justride Validator - a feature rich multi-format ticket validation device for buses and trams, designed by Masabi so passengers can simply tap a contactless payment card, linked smartcard or mobile device to travel, without needing to purchase a ticket or understand fares. The device makes Account Based Ticketing (ABT) affordable for transport authorities of any size…

    Arriva buses go contactless across Cheshire and Greater Manchester
    Winsford Guardian
    ARRIVA is launching contactless payments on its bus services tomorrow, Sunday. As of Sunday, June 9, Arriva passengers across Cheshire and ...

    Plan for card payments on Sheffield's tram network still not rolled out
    The Star
    He highlighted how over the past 12 months both First and Stagecoach buses across Sheffield have rolled out contactless payments but Supertram, ...

    Gautrain will let passengers tap their bank card to pay for trips
    At the end of 2017, Bombela implemented a pilot programme for using contactless bank cards on the Gautrain and linked services. The programme ...

    UK: TravelMaster Smart Tickets to go paperless from 30th June
    Customers purchasing flexible and value-for-money TravelMaster tickets that are valid on rail services will no longer need a paper counterpart to use their ticket for train travel in South Yorkshire. From Sunday June 30th TravelMaster’s smart tickets will go completely digital as Ticket Vending Machines stop issuing customers with paper counterparts for tickets that are valid on trains. Instead rail ticket inspectors will use smartphones to check the validity of a ticket on a customer’s smart card.

    Australia: New public transport ticket system expected to rake in $8 billion
    Brisbane Times
    A new ticketing system that would allow people to tap on to public transport with smartphones and bank cards will rake in more than half a billion dollars a year in fare revenue.

    UK: TravelMaster Smart Tickets to go paperless from 30th June
    Customers purchasing flexible and value-for-money TravelMaster tickets that are valid on rail services will no longer need a paper counterpart to use their ticket for train travel in South Yorkshire. From Sunday June 30th TravelMaster’s smart tickets will go completely digital as Ticket Vending Machines stop issuing customers with paper counterparts for tickets that are valid on trains. Instead rail ticket inspectors will use smartphones to check the validity of a ticket on a customer’s smart card.

    Australia: New public transport ticket system expected to rake in $8 billion
    Brisbane Times
    A new ticketing system that would allow people to tap on to public transport with smartphones and bank cards will rake in more than half a billion dollars a year in fare revenue.

    NYC subway riders will be able to tap in with a smartphone starting Friday at some stations
    Brinkwire (press release)
    Then, users just hold their iPhone or Android phone near one of the contactless readers until it lights up green with the word 'Go,' then they can ...

    IATA unanimously resolves to speed adoption of One ID for biometric air travel
    … The resolution calls for airlines, airports, government authorities, and other stakeholders to work together on the implementation of a paperless passenger process utilizing biometrics. The organization noted in proposing the resolution that up to 40 percent of terminal space could be freed up with biometric deployment.

    How to use Apple Wallet Contactless Tickets
    Ascot Racecourse
    A contactless ticket is a digital pass that can be stored within the Wallet app on your iPhone and Apple Watch and be used to enter Ascot Racecourse ...
    (Nothing to it…um… Confus-Ed.)

    UK: Virgin Trains promises new app that could save passengers £1bn
    The Independent
    …Virgin Trains claims that the app will automatically calculate the best fare, retrospectively, in the same way that Transport for London’s Oyster card delivers savings for travellers in the capital.

    Fitbit Pay now works on London public transport
    Tech Advisor
    In fact, Fitbit users can now use Fitbit Pay as contactless fare payment at seven major transit systems around the world, including New York MTA One ...

    Voyego signs deal with Aer Lingus to allow new forms of payment
    Irish Times
    Irish technology company Voyego has signed a deal with Aer Lingus that will see it work on a new payments hub platform with the airline, allowing it to accept alternative forms of payment such as Apple Pay or Avios loyalty points. …“In this new digital environment airlines must provide passengers with their preferred payment methods, such as Apple Pay, that work seamlessly on ...

    Arriva passengers can use 'contactless payments'
    St Helens Star
    ARRIVA passengers in St Helens are now able to buy their bus tickets using contactless payments. Following a multi-million pound investment across ...

    New Logan Airport Technology Aims To Speed Up Security With Eye, Fingerprint Scans
    CBS Boston The system, called Clear, uses biometrics including eye and fingerprint scans. The new program is launching in Terminal A first. Travelers will see the ...
    (Peepers and dabs: that should speed things along: and it costs you $179 a year for the privilege of queueing for hours. Still, think of all that lovely biometric data the benign, democratic western government is collecting. Ed.)

    …and it all creates new jobs for the boys: (Ed.)


  • 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