The adoption of smart cards as an alternative to paper and magnetic stripe tickets continues to increase. Deployments such as Oyster in London and Octopus in Hong Kong illustrate the success of smart card-based ticketing systems for both transport operators and passengers.
Despite the popularity of physical smart cards, the smart ticketing space is steadily evolving as transport operators introduce new payment and travel options for NFC-enabled smartphones. Host card emulation (HCE), which offers the same ‘shopper-friendly’ experience consumers have come to expect from their smartphones in a retail environment, is a key driver of mobile technology in the public transportation sector.
This is because HCE seamlessly emulates a travel card on smartphones using only software. Put simply, HCE enables smartphones to act as a virtual representation of a contactless, transport smart card. This allows customers to use their smartphones as a travel smart card and store tickets inside a virtual HCE ticket wallet. Similar to a physical travel smart card, when the smartphone is ‘waved’ and validated over a ticketing gate, the digital ticket is validated and the barrier opens.
Earlier this year, Rambus launched a host card emulation (HCE) mobile ticketing solution that utilizes existing smart transport infrastructure and current mobile technology to provide a frictionless travel experience for passengers. The Rambus mobile ticketing product suite includes an HCE Ticket Wallet Service and an HCE Ticketing App that enables transport operators to easily and securely transition from physical to virtual smart cards.
The Rambus HCE Ticket Wallet Service is designed to securely create, store and maintain a virtual ticket wallet on passenger smartphones. Point of Service Terminals (POSTs) such as gates and bus Electronic Ticket Machines (ETMs) access the HCE Ticket Wallet as if it were a physical smart card. Put simply, the virtual HCE Ticket Wallet housed on an NFC-enabled smartphone is configured to behave exactly like a standard travel smart card. This allows passengers to conveniently wave or tap their mobile device against ticket machines and gates. As previously noted, the HCE Ticket Wallet Service can be used with existing smart ticketing deployments and infrastructure. Indeed, our APIs are made available for third-party developers to facilitate the seamless integration of the Rambus HCE mobile ticketing solution with current or future products.
Designed to complement the above-mentioned Ticket Wallet Service, the Rambus HCE Ticketing App is available as a white label product and is configurable to support third-party branding. The app offers passengers a full mobile ticketing experience by providing payment, ticket fulfillment and self-service/ management features. More specifically, it allows passengers to view the contents of their virtual smart card ticket wallet, add new tickets and load value for travel. In short, our HCE Ticketing App provides transport operators with a complete HCE mobile ticketing solution that enables passengers to access transport ticketing immediately, securely manage their own ticket and conveniently travel.
Interested in learning more? You can check out our HCE Mobile Ticketing Solution here and our eBook on the subject below.