Calypso strengthens security of HCE to support Android ticketing growth

Calypso Networks Association, the global community of transport ticketing stakeholders, is also bringing interoperability to Android devices via its HCE Calypso Interoperable Application (HCIA)

  • HCE is a software-based approach that stores limited-use secure credentials on any Android operated device.
  • Calypso is providing open-source adaptations to the infrastructure to ensure security is consistent with the robust independently-certified Calypso ticketing open standard.
  • CTS (Compagnie des Transports Strasbourgeois), who manage the public transport network in Strasbourg, will become the first mobility operator to offer HCIA to passengers, enabling them to use their Calypso transport ticket stored on their NFC Android smartphones in other Calypso-based ticketing locations.

Paris, France – 27 July 2021: Calypso Networks Association (CNA) has announced the launch and first deployment of its HCE Calypso Interoperable Application (HCIA). The solution enables transport operators and authorities to deliver Calypso ticketing using host card emulation (HCE) technology on Android devices while maintaining robust Calypso security standards.  The ticketing application also has the potential to work seamlessly on other Calypso systems globally, with Calypso’s Hoplink application enabling customers to buy and hold tickets for other city networks using the service, via their Android device.

“HCE is typically less secure than a contactless smart card or a secure element,” explains Philippe Vappereau, CEO of Calypso Networks Association. “Therefore, specific security requirements, such as rotating cryptographic keys in the Calypso readers, are necessary to implement a secure application (such as Calypso HCIA) and achieve a higher level of security acceptable to transport operators and authorities.”

The technological advance, provided through open standards, enables transport operators and authorities to greatly expand their base of devices with which customers can ‘tap to pay’ for their travel via NFC, across a range of mobility (MaaS) options. Significantly, passengers with Android phones can now also reload or ‘top-up’ their Calypso-based transport cards, making it even easier to pay and use public transport, while minimising physical contact.

CTS, the company managing the public transport network in Strasbourg, is the first mobility operator to offer its users the capability to use their NFC Android smartphones as a Calypso transport ticket in Strasbourg. The rollout, which successfully took place in May 2021, was enabled by Calypso and Wizway Solutions, a mobile-ticketing expert that provides this service to all Calypso operators.

Vappereau adds: “As the world starts travelling again, users who have embraced contactless payments over the last 18 months are expecting a better mobility experience. By making travel journeys as seamless as possible, secure mobile ticketing deployments like the one in Strasbourg encourages more passengers to travel, knowing they can buy and validate a ticket quickly and securely, using a device they already own.”

Emmanuel Auneau, Managing Director of CTS noted that: “Through our partnership with Wizway solutions, we are able to offer more customers a simple and secure solution for purchasing our entire fare range, wherever an internet connection is possible. CTS is at the forefront of innovation for travellers and visitors to the Strasbourg Eurométropole will benefit from a simple, useful, and secure mobile service.”

For more details on the Strasbourg deployment, visit the Calypso Networks Association Newsroom.