ITSO in Europe

PEOPLE don’t just want their smart ticketing to be confined to the UK. ITSO works closely with European organizations through the Smart Ticketing Alliance to push for interoperable smart ticketing. Indeed our Chief Advisor John Verity is currently Chairman of the Alliance.

The Smart Ticketing AllianceSTA logo

The Alliance’s Main Goals are:

  • Cooperation between national and regional Smart Ticketing schemes to establish interoperable Smart Ticketing in Europe and elsewhere.
  • To develop, agree and publish the functional and technical requirements for smart ticketing interoperability
  • Cooperation for the establishment of Trust Schemes, Specifications and Certification
  • Cooperation with other European and International Bodies to promote interoperability in Smart Ticketing

Alliance members have worked with other stakeholders to achieve:

  • Endorsement for the Smart Ticketing Alliance concept from wide range of stakeholders including UITP, EMTA, EPF, EPTO, UIC/CER and IATA (the International Air Transport Association)
  • The successful demonstration of interoperability  between ITSO, VdV KA and Calypso through the EU-IFM project
  • Working with GSMA, NFC Forum and European MNOs (Mobile Network Operators) to agree standards when Ticketing Applications used with NFC phones

EU-IFMIFM card web

The setting up of the Smart Ticketing Alliance came about after ITSO had been working with our European partners (Germany, France and Calypso in the main plus Italy, Netherlands, Nordic Countries etc) towards standardisation between schemes so they can interoperate at the European as well as the national and local level.

Early engagement has ensured the ITSO Specification complements other specifications such as Calypso and VdV KA and is not threatened by major change to meet evolving technologies such as NFC.

This work was funded by the European Commission and has produced a road map to European-wide interoperability as well as proposing specifications for the media and the way transport applications are loaded.

We are now at the point where the latest media (including NFC-enabled mobile phones) can support interoperable multiple transport applications from ITSO, VdV, Calypso, TLS etc on the same Secure Element (smartcard or SIM-card) in a mobile phone.

We have successfully demonstrated this on smartcards where we have loaded ITSO and Calypso onto a VdV issued card with no technical, security or performance problems identified and hope to do so shortly on NFC-enabled phones.

The recommendations of the IFM Project have now been adopted as a formal Technical Specification for the Secure Media at the CEN (and ISO) level. The next steps will move to ensure Transport is “Top of Wallet” for speed of transaction and that the Secure Element has a standard set of messages to load, use and delete Transport Applications such as ITSO.

In parallel, the STA, working through the European Standards body CEN, has issued a separate technical specification for smartcard readers in the public transport sector.

These will involve new links between back offices (HOPS) and the new entities of Trusted Service Provider (TSP, the Mobile Network Operator, and the Secure Element Owner), but will be managed by the MNOs outside ITSO.

All this has been quietly happening in the background and we are confident that the necessary building blocks are now in place technically to support implementations of Interoperable (IFM) Transport Applications such as ITSO, VdV, Calypso on NFC without any further changes to the ITSO Specification (now that Part 11 is implemented).

This page was last updated on 27 January 2015 GMT