UK-based m-ticketing technology specialist Masabi has demonstrated a proof-of-concept Android application that can read and display the contents of ITSO-based transport ticketing smart cards. ITSO is the UK government-chosen standard for smart ticketing that’s already being used by transport operators including Go-Ahead, Stagecoach and Newport Transport as well as in a number of regional schemes.
Masabi’s Smart Card Buddy Beta has been developed by the company’s Beta Labs programme and can be downloaded from the Google Play app store. It shows that almost any NFC-equipped handset could be used as a bus or train ticket.
Tom Godber, Masabi’s Chief Technology Officer, said “Masabi’s Smart card Buddy Beta has the potential to bridge two rapidly growing but separate technologies - mobile phones and smart cards. This proof of concept app shows that the new generation of NFC enabled smartphones can operate as ticket readers thereby letting passengers and inspectors check what’s on a smart card without the need for specialist hardware. In the future, users could even buy tickets or credit for their smart card using their phone – this once again would limit queues at ticket machines and eliminate the complexity surrounding setting ‘home stations’ for smart card top ups.”
Masabi is best known for mobile ticketing technology that allows passengers to search for train times and buy tickets which can either be collected from railway stations, displayed as an on-screen barcode or checked via NFC. Its applications are currently offered by a number of UK rail operators and ticket retailers.