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GlobalPlatform Industry Interview: Smart Ticketing Alliance

On 17 June, the Smart Ticketing Alliance (STA) was officially launched, incorporating transport operators and industry players. In this industry interview we speak to the STA’s first elected chair John Verity, ITSO’s Chief Advisor Standards, about the alliance and its relationship with GlobalPlatform.


  1. What are the aims and objectives of STA?

Originally established two years ago by the national smart ticketing organizations of the UK (ITSO), Germany (VdV ETS) and France (AFIMB), alongside the Calypso Network Association and the International Association for Public Transport (UITP), the alliance works to drive a coordinated effort towards global ticketing interoperability for the public transport sector. This includes the establishment of a trusted scheme that mirrors the interoperability frameworks implemented by other industries such as mobile phone networks and the banking sector.

  1. What are the current activities of the alliance?

Two years after signing our initial Memorandum of Understanding, the five founding members of STA successfully launched the alliance to a wider audience of transport operators and industry players in Brussels. Our work is now being legally recognized and endorsed by the European Union’s Transport Commissioner Siim Kallas.

STA will now continue to focus on relevant standardization, which includes working groups centered on advancing a trusted globally interoperable ticketing framework that will incorporate specifications and a cross-border certification program. We will also offer support to smart ticketing schemes by sharing knowledge and best practice in implementing cross-border smart ticketing technologies.

  1. Where do you see the role of GlobalPlatform within the ticketing landscape?

GlobalPlatform is a mature and trusted provider of interoperable specifications that support multiple industries globally. The transport industry is very fragmented and needs a single voice across Europe (and wider) to get what we need from the latest smart media being used by customers. We need security, speed and a common specification. GlobalPlatform is core to the Smart Ticketing Wallet holding all the transport tickets needed to support the customer’s journey.

  1. What happens next? What are the initial priorities of STA?

The STA members are committed to adopting the STA Specifications and motivated to drive the body forward. Early benefits will include a common implementation specification for transport applications across Europe. This will be supported by a cross- border certification program, which will ultimately speed product time to market and project deployments.

Of particular focus at the moment, however, is our work on the Secure Element (SE), its management and its security. The STA Specifications for SEs, on which the transport application resides and communicates with the back office, directly rely on GlobalPlatform SE Specifications. We are particularly interested in how our own industry back offices interface with those who manage the SE.

It is on this basis that the STA is interested in maintaining a technical dialogue with GlobalPlatform, so that the two bodies can work more closely in this area.