Ticketing and payment systems are key elements of public transport systems. Technological advancement has helped systems evolve substantially over recent decades.
Ticketing has evolved from paper-based tickets to complete contactless systems. Nowadays, transit operators face the challenge to understand about closed-loop versus open-loop, card-centric versus system-centric, prepaid versus post-paid, account-based ticketing, open payment, SIM-centric mobile ticketing, Secure Element, HCE, interoperability, multiservice, beacons, NFC and QR code.
Contactless ticketing is also gaining market traction with the high penetration of mobile phone technology. Transit companies are facing challenges to identify technology which can meet future requirements.
Integrated Fare Management with Easy Ticketing
Integrated fare management is concerned with the entire ticketing process. The fare is collected using an electronic payment system and a mobile ticket application issues the ticket and simultaneously counts the passengers in the respective mode of transportation. In this way, ticket sales and rate adjustments are subject to a constant process of optimization. Integrated fare management caters explicitly to the individual journey of each passenger. The perspective shifts from “these are our connections – make your choice” to: “How can we help you? – Here, this is a tailored solution”.
Smart Cards and RFID Technologies
Smart cards are used as means of ticket identification within the modes of transport. These credit card-sized plastic cards with their integrated circuits serve as digital identity. Using this chip card, the passengers validate their right to use transport, prove their balance or save their payment methods. Accordingly they can use their smartphone to purchase an electronic ticket, which in turn will be connected to their smart card. In a ticket inspection they thus can prove their right to use the transport with the card. This, of course, is facilitated by RFID technology using appropriate contactless scanners, so that in most cases the passengers do not even have to pull the card out of their wallet.
Card Services and Commercial Services
Specialized card service providers ensure that fare management using smart cards can be employed beyond the limits of single transport businesses. On the one hand, pooling this expertise accomplishes improved performance in smart card administration. On the other, a centralized card service ensures that customers are not restricted to only one transportation company by their smart card. Instead of creating a multitude of different interfaces, the VDV-eTicket Service GmbH & Co. KG (Association of German Transport Companies) determines one standard. With partnerships such as the one with CNA (Calypso Networks Association) international compatibility is also ensured.