U.K.-based Rambus Ecebs, a provider of mass-transit ticketing technology, is harnessing Host Card Emulation (HCE) for its new service supporting a virtual ticketing app that can replace physical transit cards.

The new suite of HCE-based products for transit system operators from Ecebs, a division of Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Rambus Inc., enables organizations to add virtual ticket options on to their existing smart-card infrastructure and supports all mobile major network operators, the company said in a Jan. 23 press release.

“The era of smartphones is redefining public transport, providing ease-of-use, security and convenience to travel seamlessly from train to bus to ferry to toll (roads),” said Russell McCullagh, Ecebs' managing director, in the release.

Rambus Inc. headquarters
IMAGE: Bloomberg News

HCE technology enables ticket providers to store payment credentials securely in the cloud as tokens, versus storing card details inside the handset’s secure element, an approach that can lower the cost and increase the volume for handling mass-transit ticketing, according to the press release.

Ecebs has created an HCE Ticket Wallet Service, which securely manages and provisions a virtual smart card to store tickets on the phone, and an HCE Ticketing App that enables consumers to purchase “smart tickets” at vending machines of participating transit operators.

Transit operators that add Ecebs' remote-ticketing software, transit system may deliver tickets to riders’ phones without visiting a ticket machine, and the company plans to eventually add capabilities including account-based ticketing and tools enabling riders to plan journeys and get real-time system updates and third-party offers, the company said in the release.

“With this, travelers can securely select, purchase, download and use a ticket, anytime and anywhere, on a mobile device,” McCullagh said in the release.

Ecebs expects its first HCE-based mobile ticketing trials to begin in the second half of this year.

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