Card and chip suppliers to offer open transport ticketing standard

Infineon, Giesecke & Devrient, Oberthur Technologies and Inside Contactless have teamed up to support the creation of an open security standard for mobile and chip-based transport tickets.

OPEN TICKETS: The four partners are inviting other interested parties to join the initiative

Infineon, Giesecke & Devrient, Oberthur Technologies and Inside Contactless have launched an industry initiative to provide a new security solution for next-generation mobile and card-based transport tickets.

The solution is to be built around an open standard now being implemented by the four partner companies and providers of chips, smart cards, application-specific operating software, reader devices and transportation systems are all being invited to join the initiative. The first emulation chips and transportation smart cards using the standard are scheduled to be available by the end of 2010 and, eventually, the open standard will be governed by an independent body.

The new standard promises to bring a number of key benefits to both public transport agencies and smart card industry players, say the four companies, including higher performance and advanced system security for public transport applications, as well as the availability of multiple sources for chip products. Through independent testing, the standard will also provide optimised interoperability to enable simple and fast integration into public transport schemes.

The industry initiative is based on groundwork performed by Infineon, which has developed a hardware-based security system specifically suited to public transportation smart card applications. It is comprised of a specific authentication scheme using the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) with 128-bit keys and file types and command sets based on the ISO/IEC 7816 standard.

“This open standard will facilitate the deployment of transit systems using multiple end-user devices including multi-application payment cards and NFC phones,” says Oberthur Technologies’ Frédéric Chevreton.

“We see a strong trend towards convergence of secure solutions for transit, between tickets and mobile phones with NFC, and between transit and other payment schemes,” added Willem Bulthuis, CTO and group vice president of Giesecke & Devrient. “This initiative provides an attractive alternative to existing technologies, and G&D will fully support it with its application security expertise.”

“An advanced, open standard is very much needed, especially for higher value transport smart cards, which might eventually converge with payment cards,” explains Remy de Tonnac, CEO of Inside Contactless. “With the convergence of contactless payments and transit fare collection in contactless smart cards and NFC enabled mobile phones, Inside envisions implementation to the open security standard across all our product lines.”

“This initiative of four smart card heavyweights sets forth a new open platform with enhanced security compared to current solutions in public transportation, one of the fastest growing smart card segments,” concluded Dr Helmut Gassel, president of the chip card and security division at Infineon Technologies. “Open systems provide global interoperability of reliable components from multiple sources under fair and reasonable business terms.”

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