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HCE payments for travel using mobile App on trial in West Yorkshire

29 September 2016  •  Author(s): Katie Sadler, Digital Content Producer, Eurotransport

New technology that allows passengers to travel using their smartphone instead of paper or smart card will soon be trialled in West Yorkshire, reveals ITSO.

HCE payments for travel using mobile App on trial in West Yorkshire

ITSO, a leader in smart ticketing standards, is currently working with smart technology suppliers Rambus Ecebs and Penrillian to support West Yorkshire Combined Authority in a new ticketing technology trial carried out by Transport for the North.

HCE App enables passengers to purchase a ticket directly to their mobile phone

The technology uses Host Card Emulation (HCE), an approach used widely within the payment industry to enable software emulation of a traditional smartcard on a mobile phone.  This combined with an App enables passengers to purchase a ticket directly to their mobile phone.  The mobile device then acts as the “host” for that ticket and through the NFC facility communicates with the card reader/ticket barrier to enable automatic recognition of the purchased ticket, in exactly the same way as a smartcard.  This interaction sets aside the need for the passenger to show the ticket displayed on the phone screen to inspectors, while significantly increasing the security of the transaction.

ITSO believes HCE technology on a phone will provide a strong security management system that guarantees the security of the transaction data at all times and enables interoperability, meaning different equipment and systems can talk to each other.

Steve Wakeland, General Manager, ITSO comments: “The delivery of the Transport for the North trial is a significant landmark in the development of HCE with ITSO on smartphones. We have been working very closely with our members and suppliers on the solution for the trial, and through their knowledge and expertise we have been able to identify various technologies and approaches relating to HCE.”

“We will continue to explore these different options, with the objective of identifying viable solutions for broader adoption and rollout by our members” Steve concludes. “We want to give our members the confidence to enter into this new market. What is clear is that we have identified a number of solutions that meet the high security standards placed on ITSO schemes which means that it is no longer as challenging as it used to be to provide mobile ticketing alongside classical contactless smart cards.”

“We believe that customers will welcome the opportunity to use their smartphone to purchase a ‘smart ticket”

Cllr Keith Wakefield, Chair of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority Transport Committee, added:  “Having been a leading player in the development of smartcard travel, through our MCard scheme, I am delighted the Combined Authority is a partner in this exciting pilot.

“It has the potential to benefit customers across the north, and further afield and we believe that customers will welcome the opportunity to use their smartphone to purchase a ‘smart ticket’ simply and easily, safe in the in the knowledge that the transaction is secure.”

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