Convergence enabled with NXP´s SmartMX and MIFARE platforms 4. May 2012

Three separate tracks forming a

Student ID and public transit solution

For the first track, the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transit Authority (SEPTA) is preparing to launch an open loop fare collection system that will enable commuters to pay for rides using a variety of different payment methodologies. In November, SEPTA selected ACS Transport Group to install a contactless open fare payment and collection system. The system will make conventional tokens, paper tickets, and magnetic strip passes obsolete, opting instead to use devices such as cell phones, bank cards or prepaid cards equipped with contactless technology to enable riders to manage their transit fares more easily and the transit to stop issuance of fare cards.

On track number two, the School District of Philadelphia has an established program that provides paper bus passes to students so they can take public transportation to and from school at discounted rates.

And on track number three, the company ScholarChip has been providing smart card attendance and identification technologies to the school district since 2006. According to Maged Atiya, chief technology officer at ScholarChip, approximately 100,000 contactless MIFARE cards have been issued to students at 70 district schools to manage building attendance and security, automate classroom attendance and record disciplinary events.

As these three tracks converge, the school district and ScholarChip are working with ACS to enable students’ smart card IDs to work on the open-loop transit system, Atiya says. ScholarChip will provide a real-time interface between the existing ScholarChip student identification and attendance platform and the new contactless ACS public transport readers, meaning that students can use their identification cards as bus or subway passes on the SEPTA system.The system is poised to move beyond smart cards and ID cards as well.

ScholarChip is rolling out its near field communication (NFC) mobile phone application which will allow riders on the SEPTA system to use either their ScholarChip smart card or their NFC phone as a token. And the ScholarChip issuance system will be fully cloud based, potentially allowing community groups and other similar agencies to use smart cards on the public transport system. SEPTA has said it expects to undertake its new payment technologies program in three phases: first a design and testing phase, followed by two implementation phases. SEPTA expects the modernized fare system to be complete within three years.

Who is ScholarChip?

New York-based ScholarChip was established in 2000 to provide Web-centric, cloud-based solutions for the education market. The company provides smart card IDs to the K-12 market and payment gateway and electronic signature solutions for Higher Education. Its K-12 smart card solution has grown into a security and multi-point attendance platform used by urban, suburban and rural school districts.