logo logo
About Us

Who we are

We are the Guardian of the ITSO Specification developed in the UK under Crown Copyright, which aims to make travelling on public transport throughout the UK seamless and easier by enabling smart ticketing technology. 

The ITSO community is a membership of public sector authorities, transport operators and equipment and solution suppliers to the smart ticketing industry, who together use the ITSO Specification to deliver smart, integrated and interoperable ticketing across Great Britain.

What we do

Working for, and funded by, its membership, ITSO supports its members to set up and run ITSO-compliant smart ticketing schemes. 

While ITSO does not run schemes, provide equipment or influence commercial agreements, ITSO provides the environment that ensures the security of cards, products and transaction data between interoperable schemes.

ITSO has a robust security system behind it, accommodating all ticket types for different transport modes, helping to improve business processes and can also be used for services other than transport ticketing such as parking, bike and vehicle hire.

Specification core iconTesting & Certification

Before any equipment, software or sub-assembly can be used within the ITSO environment, it has to be certified by ITSO. To gain certification the equipment is tested by ITSO for compliance with the Specification. ITSO also tests to ensure that interoperability can be achieved.

ITSO Secure Application Module (ISAM)

The specially commissioned ITSO Secure Application Module (ISAM) is constructed from a programmable smart card chip with extended memory and resides in all ITSO-compliant point of service terminals (POST) and back office equipment (HOPS).

It implements the secure part of the ITSO application and is fundamental to the operation of the ITSO environment.

It has the same form factor as a SIM card for a mobile phone.

The ISAM has achieved certification to the security assurance Common Criteria Evaluation standard EAL4+.

Security core iconITSO Security Management System (ISMS)

Security of data transmission is a key aspect of interoperability. The consequent handling and transmission of data between point-of-service devices, operators and settlement organisations is crucial for genuine interoperability.

ITSO provides the back office ITSO Security Management System (ISMS) which enables ITSO-compliant smart ticketing systems to be set up, guaranteeing high security surrounding the data it processes.

The Security Management Service (ISMS) generates and distributes security keys within the ITSO environment. These keys are the means by which Licensed Operators’ equipment and systems can recognise and accept other Licensed Operators’ products.

The ISMS allows ISAMs to be updated remotely with new and amended products, and other operational changes as required by the Licensed Operators. As a result ITSO products can be updated in the field without service disruption and while still maintaining high levels of security.

Development & Innovation

Innovation core iconITSO ensures that the ITSO Specification is up to date and fit for purpose, changing to meet new technical requirements.

ITSO also keeps up with the latest ticketing technology and is working with major standards bodies, transport and banking bodies to agree ways forward for such things as mobile phone and pan European ticketing.

Proactively exploring new technologies to move forward the future of smart ticketing ie ITSO on the mobile phone, brings the virtual smartcard to the mobile handset.

 

Operational Regulations

The ITSO Specification sets out the technical means by which interoperability of smart contactless systems can be facilitated.

In addition to the Specification, each Licensed Operator running a scheme or performing specific roles in the ITSO environment agrees to abide by the regulations contained within the ITSO Operating Licence. This ensures that all parties behave consistently and fairly, both in interactions with each other and with users of ITSO smartcards.

Who we work with

We work with a large number of organisations from the public transport industry.  These partnerships are a testament to the service we provide and the breadth of ITSO schemes operating across Great Britain.

The ITSO community is a membership of public sector authorities, transport operators and equipment and solution suppliers to the smart ticketing industry, who together use the ITSO Specification to deliver smart, integrated and interoperable ticketing across Great Britain.

Find out more about who runs ITSO and the ITSO membership.