Paperless payment of travel

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Paperless payment of travel

Pilot experience in Madrid for NFC application

Pilot application in Andalusia for validating Public Transport tickets with Google Glass

Payment by credit card implemented by Transport for London (Tfl)

CIVITAS Forum, 2016, “ITS and smart mobility in practice “, G. Ambrosino, session 14 ITS Solutions in urban areas, available at

UK Department of Transport, Study on Be-In/Be-out system:

Toolkit for NFC payment in Public Transport implementation:

Smart Ticketing Alliance, Report and updated links for NFC and electronic ticketing at

Public Transport Operators and Authorities must keep the property of security keys and encrypting algorithms in their hand. Systems whose security is guaranteed by proprietary solutions of the IT provider or by tools/procedures in the hands of “external parties” should be avoided as a technological changes (for example: an upgrade of sw platform, hw equipment, etc.) will require new investment of system upgrading.

Standardized solutions must be followed in order to reduce maintenance costs, to assure scaling up and the sustainability of the system over time.

The procedures/tools for reporting the number in terms of tickets purchased and incomes must be integrated with the accounting system adopted by the Transport Operators/Authorities

For cities where e-ticketing is implemented from the stretch, smart card implementation is a good way to start in order to face the migration from paper to electronic payment system. Other payment systems (APP/Web, NFC, etc.) can follow as step-by-step evolution as a large part of the technological/operational issues to be faced in the migration. For example a common database of tickets should be implemented and connected to all the different selling platforms.

Paperless solutions (which are also indicated as electronic ticketing) cover a wide range of implementations with the common objective to improve service accessibility in terms of extend selling channels to purchase tickets (i.e. SMS/APP/QR code), enabling the access to Public Transport also with payment tools not dedicated/restricted to it (i.e. interoperable smart cards and bank cards) and simplify the interactions required for tickets management and validation (i.e. NFC and Be-In/Be-Out).

The general idea is to improve accessibility for the customers to PT services in terms of more friendly interaction for ticket validation, decrease of boarding time and improved availability for tickets purchasing. The use of electronic ticketing system (paperless) enables Operators and Authorities to collect data and gather statistical analysis on passengers flow over time, trips, stops, etc. The different solutions have various state of maturity: the purchase of tickets through the smartphone has been largely introduced in a lot of applications in order to let the customers use the services without pre-paid tickets: when QR code or electronic token is used, the validation is supported. NFC have been recently introduced in some full scale applications and pilot actions in the larger cities: it allows to pay the service directly with the smartphone (without any pre-paid ticket) and to validate. Be-In/Be-Out is a protoype solution enabling the calculation of the tariff automatically detecting APP (downloaded on smartphones) or smart card in boarding and aligning operation: it supports also post-payment. Bank cards have been considered for Public Transport payment being a native interoperable tool targeted for flexible demand and business customers.

  • Integration with other services
  • ITS

General concept
  • Attracting more customers
  • Goal-oriented/efficient organization
  • Increase customer satisfaction

  • Better experience
  • Improve accessibility
  • Improve travelling time
  • Improving customer orientation

  • Flexible economy
  • Globalization
  • Innovative technologies

Strong marketing initiatives are required to promote the innovative payment services in order to highlight to users the benefits they can achieve using it. Clear explanation how to use the innovative payment services should be provided. Electronic payment system are often the opportunity to simplify the fare structure.

Medium (4 to 8 months)
Medium (KEuro)
Medium (between 5 and 50 KEuro)
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