Saturday, October 4, 2008

ITSO mobile phones

It was heartening to read about the field trials of ITSO compliant phones (Consult Hyperion) in UK. ITSO is an industry organization to promote interoperability between UK Passenger Transport Authorities / Operators and related organizations.

ITSO was formed to build and maintain a specification for secure 'end to end' inter-operable ticketing transactions, utilising relevant ISO and emerging CEN standards.
[From ITSO - About Us ]
In the contactless space, UK seems to be speeding ahead of the traditional smart card leader, France. The payments cards deployment and now a standardized inter-operable transit solution, UK is putting in place the basic building blocks

It is interesting to note that both the payments space and ITSO provide support for loyalty. However, there is no standard, that I am aware of, for loyalty on smart cards (at least for applet interaction between 'card' and 'reader'). Support for loyalty by both standards recognizes the valuable grease for the wheel. However, lack of standards in the loyalty space might indicate a choke point for commercial scalability.

O2 is the operator who is the common thread for both the payments field trials in London, and the ITSO trials with the NoWcard. It would be interesting if Venyon, the OTA service provider for the London payments field trials, is also involved in the ITSO field trials (though not mentioned in the CHYP website). Finally, it would not be surprising to find out that the O2 SWP phones (SIM as a secure element) used in the payments field trials is being used in the ITSO trials as well.