SNCF and Gemalto presented a new service enabling travelers to purchase and recharge their transport tickets using a contactless mobile phone which incorporates near field communication.
The technology is being demonstrated at the Gemalto booth during the Cartes & IDentification 2009 exhibition. The integration of NFC technology into consumer mobile phones will enable travelers to purchase or top up transport tickets, at any time, from the online SNCF portal.
Travelers who buy pre-paid tickets will also be able to check how many tickets they have remaining. This new service enabling online purchases, in addition to the existing ticket offices and ticket machines, gives travelers greater flexibility.
The transport ticket is stored in the SIM card of the NFC mobile phone. It is used in exactly the same way as any other contactless transport ticket. Travelers swipe the handset over a reader to open the gates. Similarly, travelers only need to present their phone to the ticket inspector, who checks the ticket validity.
This new service is the result of a project run jointly by the SNCF Proximités Innovation and Technologies Pole, the SNCF subsidiary RITMx, a provider of ticketing distribution solutions, and Gemalto.
The project is based on Gemalto’s Trusted Services Management. They enable the deployment of day-to-day applications such as transport and payment via a contactless mobile phone. Gemalto also provides the user interface that enables travelers to view and download tickets onto their phones from the RITMx server.
SNCF is considering offering a bundle of transport-related services on NFC-enabled phones, including ticket purchase and top-up, balance checking, real-time access to travel news and the use of intelligent labels. Phones may eventually become a channel for topping up contactless tickets.