In the Fast Lane


Transit, contactless payment, and physical access convergence.

Not too long ago, everybody was talking about the global financial and economic meltdown.

However, now people are starting to look towards the future to a roaring “tiger” year. As a result of the economy, many now are more cautious about the planning and spending for projects, especially in the public sector. This has triggered administrators to take a closer look at leveraging what they already have in place before considering making additional investments.

A good example of this trend can be seen in transit agencies and the financial payment industry, where they have moved to contactless smart card technology that leverages their existing infrastructure. The transit cards have been widely accepted by the public as they provide fast access to public transportation and eliminate the need for carrying cash and standing in long lines to purchase tickets from the counter.

Take the Hong Kong Octopus card. It is a rechargeable, contactless card that is passed over a reader to access almost every train, bus or ferry. It is actually a contactless stored value smart card that is used to transfer electronic payment in both online and offline systems in Hong Kong. Throughout the year, Octopus card has evolved from a just a transit card to also being used as a payment card in fast food chains, convenience stores, parking lots and for vending machines. And to date, 19 million Octopus cards are in circulation with an average of 7 million transactions and HK $48 million each day.

Why Aren’t More Transit Agencies Getting on Board?

With too many card issuers, too many diverse technologies, and too many stake holders, the question really becomes, “how can we create a common platform that everybody can use?”.

The Answer is in CEPAS

Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) leads the industry in defining and creating the first common platform for Contactless Electronic Payment Application System (CEPAS). CEPAS is a specification for Singapore micro-payment and is a key part of the e-payment infrastructure, with its vision of having single Multipurpose Stored Value (MPSV) card - the first nationwide interoperable micro-payment platform.

HID on the Fast Track

HID Global swiftly introduced its CEPAS compliant iClass Transit reader that enables not only the convergence of transit and payment, but also physical access control. Since the CEPAS card also serves as a supplementary identification and concession card for students in government recognized education institutes, it has opened the door for HID partners to offer a more cost-effective security access system by using iClass Transit reader to public institutions like colleges, universities, various public buildings. On top of this, with Fargo High Definition Printing (HDP) technology, the user can expect the best personalization printing for their card.