HCE and CIPURSE: the answer to super-charging your mobile ticketing solutions

by Laurent Cremer, Executive Director of the OSPT Alliance. 

Mobile ticketing is becoming increasingly important in the transport ticketing sector. For travellers, mobile ticketing offers speed, convenience and real-time travel updates. For public transport operators (PTOs), it creates a live, direct connection to customers and enables business independence. Industry interest has steadily grown surrounding Host Card Emulation (HCE) as the key technology to deliver mobile solutions quickly and cost-effectively and for the transport ticketing industry, the opportunity is huge.

But for PTOs looking to take their first step into mobile ticketing with HCE, its crucial to understand the drivers behind the buzz and how developing solutions on an open, non-proprietary standard is essential to super-charging implementations.

So, what is HCE? At a high-level, HCE enables the software emulation of a traditional tamper resistant plastic smart card (such as those used in payments and access control). This allows a mobile application to support contactless communication in the same manner as an application on a contactless smart card. For operators, the removal of the secure element (SE) greatly simplifies their business models and reduces reliance on issuance service bureaus, delivering real cost efficiencies and savings.

Crucially for transport operators, HCE can also work offline, which is hugely important in the transport world in which a large number of validation devices are regularly offline. Whilst the security of HCE alone may not match smartcard levels, pairing implementations with tokenization technology provides a simple way to manage transaction risks and ensure a good user experience, even when a traveller’s phone is not connected.

So far, so good. But to fully realise the benefits of HCE mobile ticketing, moving away from proprietary solutions towards an open standard such as CIPURSE™, is essential. 

Here’s an overview of how CIPURSE can super-charge your HCE mobile ticketing solutions:

  • Increased choice – By using an open standard, operators are given a larger choice of suppliers and business models to better suit their projects, unlike proprietary implementations.
  • Drive market innovation – With several key industry players as members contributing towards the open standard, there is a vested interest to increase innovation in the technology.
  • Build best of breed solution –Developing on CIPURSE enables compatibility between different suppliers. This allows operators to develop best of breed solutions from a number of suppliers, all whilst ensuring interoperability with other solutions.
  • Protect investment in existing infrastructure – CIPURSE is completely form factor independent. As a result, operators can ensure compatibility between mobile and cards, allowing for a phased introduction of the new technology.
  • Enable the future of Mobility as a Service (MaaS) –CIPURSE can accommodate a range of additional multi-applications, from loyalty to access control, and easily accommodates connectivity with adjacent transport options. Once implemented, HCE solutions can simply be upgraded on CIPURSE to offer new services to users. By streamlining transport solutions into one accessible and on-demand service and placing traveller convenience and choice at the heart of developments, pairing HCE mobile ticketing solutions with CIPURSE enables the mobility as a service (MaaS) the market increasingly expects.

The OSPT Alliance recognises the vast potential HCE has when paired with CIPURSE to deliver mobile ticketing solutions. Earlier this year, we were proud to showcase our first proof-of-concept demo of a HCE mobile ticketing implementation, secured by tokenization and developed using CIPURSE. Watch our latest video to hear from our HCE working group chair, Viktor Brajak, about the benefits of pairing HCE and CIPURSE and to see our proof-of-concept demo in action.

Interested in getting involved? Please email me, laurent.cremer@osptalliance.org, to discuss further.

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Categories: CIPURSE

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