Navigating unpredictability with Calypso Standards

Over the coming year, ticketing will face continued unpredictability and increased pressure for flexibility. This will need to reflect agile commuting patterns, alongside the need for a smarter, seamless passenger experience across different modes of transport. In the final part of our three-blog series assessing the short and medium-term future for ticketing in public transport, CNA’s CEO, Philippe Vappereau explains how the transport ticketing community has been responding and how CNA will continue to support the demand from transit networks for smarter, flexible, futureproof ticketing with both smartcard and mobile-based solutions. Open, community-led ticketing standards such as Calypso have evolved to ensure they reflect the needs of the entire ecosystem and support an innovative, scalable approach. This has always been the case and will continue to be so as ticketing faces the challenges of moving to MaaS while networks and passengers navigate unpredictability. This has manifested in diverse ways at Calypso.

Functional, secure mobile ticketing

Within mobile ticketing, Calypso for Mobile supports m-ticketing based on open standards that reflect the current and future needs of the transit networks: it is comprised of Applet for iOS (and for some Android devices with a Secure Element or SIM in a connected device); and Host Card Emulation (HCE) for most Android-based devices.

Reflecting the importance of security as one of the most critical factors underpinning trust and success behind m-ticketing solution deployments, the Calypso HCE Security Certification Scheme enables a ‘security by design’ approach with m-ticketing developers producing Android-based solutions using HCE. This helps overcome the lower security levels of HCE as it is a software-based approach and cannot store sensitive payment/ticketing data on the Secure Element hardware.

Liberating networks with ticketing terminal software updates

To enable networks to implement innovative, flexible terminal ticketing software without relying on their existing hardware supplier and without the large price-tag and extended development time, CNA, using the Eclipse Foundation platform, developed and gifted the software development kit (SDK), Eclipse Keyple to the ticketing community. Building on the principles of open standards, which Calypso is built on, Keyple is an open source toolkit. It is freely available from Eclipse (who also ensure the open source principals are upheld) to both members and non-members of CNA who are interested in developing terminal software for their networks. It is another way that members of the ticketing community are liberated from any proprietary constraints. In October 2021, CNA announced the release of the next generation of the open source SDK, Keyple 2.0, which features enhanced flexibility and usability for software developers.   

Keyple will be an essential tool supporting networks when upgrading ticketing infrastructures to provide an innovative, smarter offering, or when transitioning to new tariff structures for flexible ticketing. Without open-source toolkits like Keyple, networks could be stuck with their existing terminal infrastructure provider. This would mean that evolving in line with major transit trends such as MaaS could incur high costs and extended development time, reducing the commercial viability of ticketing upgrades. Yet with Keyple, networks are empowered to develop their own terminal software upgrades. As it is a library of prepared coded functions, it needs no lengthy periods of extra training or familiarisation with a legacy system for developers.

We anticipate that more network planners will realise the value of Keyple as they adapt their ticketing strategies to deal with the current pressures facing transit. More networks are looking to offer a smart, flexible yet sustainable ecosystem.

Different networks, different budgets and different passengers

No two networks are ever the same, and the same is certainly true when it comes to ticketing. Each network will have unique budgets, upgrade plans, and passenger expectations. However, supporting unique needs should be no barrier to smarter, digitised ticketing, which is why CNA recognises the importance of empowering networks to be flexible with their ticketing to navigate unpredictability.

Supporting the need for flexibility in a commercially viable way, CNA will be bringing Calypso Basic to market in 2022, offering a low-cost, smart, secure contactless smartcard for casual passengers. Solutions like this will be suitable for passengers whether they are visitors, more infrequent travellers due to changing community patterns, or are gradually returning to public transport in a post-pandemic world. Regardless of their needs, networks will be able to support all passengers with a smart, convenient, secure yet flexible contactless ticketing solution with a tangible ROI.

To get involved in shaping ticketing standards for the future of transit, get in touch to discuss CNA membership or to subscribe to our newsletter to hear the latest updates.