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Smart Card Alliance Transportation Council Wraps Successful 2012 Leading Educational Efforts on Open Payments and NFC for Transit

6TH ANNUAL SMART CARD ALLIANCE PAYMENTS SUMMIT, SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH, Feb. 5, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Providing guidance and best practices for transit agencies implementing advanced fare collection systems utilizing smart card-based contactless, EMV and NFC payment technologies was the focus of educational activities throughout a successful 2012, the Smart Card Alliance Transportation Council said today. The Council also announced new leadership for 2013-2014 and plans to outline 2013 projects during the 2013 Smart Card Alliance Payments Summit, being held through Thursday at the Grand America Hotel in Salt Lake City, Utah.

"The Transportation Council has played an instrumental role in opening transit agencies' eyes to how advances in payments can benefit them and their customers," said Randy Vanderhoof, executive director of the Smart Card Alliance. "Their educational efforts show how open contactless payments and the arrival of EMV chip and NFC mobile payments in the U.S. can be used to enable faster and more convenient payments, better customer service, and enhanced information for riders."

Open transit payment, which allows consumers to use the contactless credit or debit card already in their wallet to pay for transit fares, was the center of Council activities last year. One of the highlights was the in-person transit meeting hosted by the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) in Philadelphia last fall. The meeting brought together transit agencies of all sizes and from all over the United States including from Atlanta, New Jersey, New York, Philadelphia, Phoenix, San Francisco, and Washington DC, and from the states of Florida, Hawaii, Maryland, Minnesota, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Utah.

Also in 2012, the Transportation Council explored considerations for using NFC technology for transit applications in the white paper, "Near Field Communication (NFC) and Transit: Applications, Technology and Implementation Considerations," and collaborated with the Payments Council on a workshop on contactless payments fundamentals at the 2012 Payments Summit.

"Open transit payments are certainly on their way, with many transit agencies in the planning stages and others in the midst of deployment. After wrapping such a successful 2012, we aim to continue to provide guidance on the best practices for implementing these systems, while also examining and educating on how we can further use advances in technology, particularly mobile, to enhance these systems and create even richer rider experiences," said Craig Roberts, Utah Transit Authority and chair of the Transportation Council.

New 2013/2014 Leadership

The Council is managed by a steering committee that includes a broad spectrum of leaders from the transportation, financial services and smart card industries, systems integrators, consultancies and technology firms. The officers are:

-- Chair: Craig Roberts, Utah Transit Authority (UTA)

-- Vice Chair - Transit: Gerald Kane, Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA)

-- Vice Chair - Tolling: Mike Nash, Xerox

The 2013 / 2014 Council steering committee members are:

-- Linh Huynh, INSIDE Secure

-- Kathy Imperatore, Port Authority Transit Corporation (PATCO)

-- Mark Lulic, MasterCard Worldwide

-- Celine Mantoux, Giesecke & Devrient

-- Josh Martiesian, LTK Engineering Services

-- Kenneth Mealey, American Express

-- Mike Meringer, VeriFone Systems

-- Eric Reese, Chicago Transit Authority

-- John Vasilj, Accenture

For more information on transit open payments, the Smart Card Alliance Transit Open Payment Resources webpage contains up-to-date information on North American transit programs implementing open contactless payments. The page includes descriptions of transit programs and reference documents, the library of Smart Card Alliance transit resources, and a slideshow that explains the basics of open transit payment technology.

About the Smart Card Alliance Transportation Council

The Smart Card Alliance Transportation Council is focused on promoting the adoption of interoperable contactless smart card payment systems for transit and other transportation services. The Council is engaged in projects that support applications of smart card use. The overall goal of the Transportation Council is to help accelerate the deployment of standards-based smart card payment programs within the transportation industry.

About the Smart Card Alliance

The Smart Card Alliance is a not-for-profit, multi-industry association working to stimulate the understanding, adoption, use and widespread application of smart card technology.

Through specific projects such as education programs, market research, advocacy, industry relations and open forums, the Alliance keeps its members connected to industry leaders and innovative thought. The Alliance is the single industry voice for smart cards, leading industry discussion on the impact and value of smart cards in the U.S. and Latin America. For more information please visit http://www.smartcardalliance.org.

CONTACT: Deb Montner 203-226-9290 dmontner@montner.com Montner & Associates Tech PR Agency www.montner.com

Source:Smart Card Alliance