Calypso for Mobile

Travellers can order, buy and validate tickets using a connected consumer device, such as a smartphone or smartwatch.

Calypso for mobile is an open, secure technical standard that enables innovative and sustainable mobile ticketing solutions.

What are the benefits of mobile ticketing?

  • Consumer convenience, providing new, simple ways to purchase tickets.
  • Support social distancing measures and limiting person-to-person contact through remote ticket reload and contactless access control.
  • New opportunities to deliver innovative ticketing solutions, such as Mobility As A Service (MaaS) which enables a traveller to seamlessly combine transport services to support end-to-end journey requirements.
  • Combine real-time transport information and data capture with ticketing capabilities.
  • Reduce ticketing distribution costs and removal of paper and plastic tickets.
  • Support new and real-time measures to fight ticketing fraud.

Why are open standards important for mobile ticketing?

It is vital to have optimum interoperability with other systems when working across different consumer devices, operating systems and mobile networks. Implementers of Calypso-based mobile solutions can benefit from established security, technical performance and global interoperability.

In addition to this, Calypso for mobile offers:

  • A focus on security. Continual security updates to address new and evolving threats.
  • System sustainability and flexibility to meet future mobile ticketing needs and requirements, while maintaining backward compatibility.
  • Ability to open-source tenders for future evolutions.

How do you implement Calypso for mobile?

Public transport operators have two implementation options. Both support card centric and account-based ticketing systems, and enable Mobility as a Service.

Secure Element

This approach uses an applet that is hosted in an embedded Secure Element (eSE) or SIM card located in a connected consumer device.

The applet is installed and managed using GlobalPlatform mechanisms. It is compatible with all operating systems.

The solution fully emulates a Calypso card and offers strictly the same level of functionalities and security
It requires no adaptation of a Calypso ticketing infrastructure, and can also function when the mobile device is switched off, and/or has no battery. Learn more about the technical advances, see the release note of Calypso Applet


The Calypso applet is reserved to CNA members and provided free of charge. It requires members to sign the CNA Calypso Applet User License.

Get in touch with the CNA team for more information.

Host Card Emulation

HCE is a software-based approach that stores limited use secure credentials on any Android operated device.

This solution offers the level of functionality of Calypso Prime, but requires adaptations to the ticketing infrastructure to ensure security is maintained to the Calypso standard.

CNA provides Calypso HCE specifications and guidelines to help implementing this solution in a ticketing infrastructure at the required level of security. They are available in the Calypso Documentation Library for CNA members only.

Considering that a software-based ticketing solution requires a specific approach to security, CNA has defined a security certification process based on a technical evaluation made by an independent laboratory. Its objective, based on a state-of-the-art reference framework, is to strengthen confidence in Calypso HCE solutions proposed by providers, of which there are currently 5. This security certification is recommended by CNA, and is a tool provided to Calypso networks that want to implement HCE solutions: they are the ones that must request it on the basis of the security risks they have assessed. In 2021, HID Global received an HCE security certificate from CNA, updated in 2022 (see the certificate).

Please get in touch with the CNA team if you need complementary information or want to know more about the current Calypso HCE providers.

Both solutions can support all fares and tickets without limitations, at the discretion of the public transport operator or authority.

Become a member to access more of the Calypso technical materials.

Already a member? Visit the Calypso Documentation Library now.