Smart Card Alliance Provides Educational Resources on Contactless Open Payments for Transit Fare Collection

Smart Card Alliance Provides Educational Resources on Contactless Open Payments for Transit Fare Collection

Princeton Junction, N.J., November 14, 2011–With several major cities actively pursuing open payment solutions for their transit systems, the Smart Card Alliance Transportation Council today introduced a series of new educational resources on the topic, including a white paper, web resources, and LinkedIn group for industry professionals.

The Smart Card Alliance will be exhibiting at CARTES & IDentification 2011 this week, November 15th-17th, booth 4 H 079.

Open payment for transit is the acceptance of standard contactless financial payment devices at the customer’s point of entry/exit to the transit system.

“Open transit payments are very convenient for travelers, because they do not need separate fare media to access transit services,” said Randy Vanderhoof, executive director of the Smart Card Alliance. “Accepting these payments has unique requirements for both the transit and financial industries, so we created these resources specifically for them.”

The white paper, ”Transit and Contactless Open Payments: An Emerging Approach for Fare Collection,” was written to inform the transit industry of the opportunities and benefits of accepting contactless open bank cards for fare payment, and to inform the bank card industry of the requirements for transit fare collection. It is available for free download on the Smart Card Alliance website.

The white paper does the following:

  • Describes how contactless bank card payments work
  • Defines key transit requirements for fare payment
  • Explains how transit can benefit from accepting contactless open bank cards as fare payment
  • Describes both the challenges in accepting contactless open bank cards for fare payment and potential solutions to these challenges
  • Describes transit implementations, pilots and planned deployments of contactless open bank card payments, including the implementation of the first complete open bank card payment system in Salt Lake City, the pilots in New York City and New Jersey, and planned deployments in Philadelphia, Chicago, Washington DC, Dallas, and Toronto.

“The Transportation Council’s diverse membership and activities keep us on top of pressing industry issues, and right now we are seeing a clamor for education on contactless open fare payments from agencies of all sizes,” said Craig Roberts, Utah Transit Authority, and chair of the Transportation Council. “We are providing this wide range of resources so agencies updating their fare collection systems have full knowledge of their options.”

Also new is the Open Payment Resources webpage, created for transit agencies to access up-to-date information on North American transit programs implementing open contactless payments. The page includes descriptions of transit programs and reference documents, the library of Smart Card Alliance transit resources, and an upcoming slideshow that explains the basics of open transit payment technology.

To stimulate discussion of transportation industry use of open contactless payments, the Alliance has created the Smart.Transit LinkedIn Group. It is open to all Smart Card Alliance members and public transportation agencies.

“We view collaboration and discussion as critical to the success of transit open payment projects, and LinkedIn provides an ideal forum to meet this goal,” added Vanderhoof.

Participants involved in the development of the white paper included: Accenture; ACS, a Xerox Company; CH2M;; Collis; Connexem Consulting; Cubic Transportation Systems; Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART); Discover Financial Services; epay North America; Gemalto; Giesecke & Devrient;; Identive Group; IDmachines; Infineon Technologies; INSIDE Secure; JC Simonetti & Associates;; Keville Enterprises; LF Consulting; LTK Engineering Services; MasterCard Worldwide; MTA NYC Transit; NJ TRANSIT; NXP Semiconductors; Oberthur Technologies; OTI America; Payment Strategy, LLC; Quadagno & Associates; Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA); Thales Transport and Security Inc.; U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT)/Volpe Center; Utah Transit Authority (UTA); VeriFone; Visa Inc.; Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA).

Open payments for transit will be discussed in detail at the Smart Card Alliance 2012 Payments Summit, being held February 8th through the 10th, 2012 at the Hilton Salt Lake City Center in Salt Lake City, Utah. More information and registration is available on the 2012 Payments Summit event page.

For more on transit and other news, join Smart.Transit, and follow the Smart Card Alliance on Twitter @SmartCardOrgUSA, and Facebook at Smart Card Alliance.

About the Smart Card Alliance Transportation Council

The Smart Card Alliance Transportation Council is focused on promoting the adoption of interoperable contactless smart card payment systems for transit and other transportation services. The Council is engaged in projects that support applications of smart card use. The overall goal of the Transportation Council is to help accelerate the deployment of standards-based smart card payment programs within the transportation industry.

About the Smart Card Alliance

The Smart Card Alliance is a not-for-profit, multi-industry association working to stimulate the understanding, adoption, use and widespread application of smart card technology.

Through specific projects such as education programs, market research, advocacy, industry relations and open forums, the Alliance keeps its members connected to industry leaders and innovative thought. The Alliance is the single industry voice for smart cards, leading industry discussion on the impact and value of smart cards in the U.S. and Latin America. For more information please visit