Turkey’s DESFire-based PASSOLIG Card wins Innovation Award 2. February 2017

The Turkish PASSOLIG Card Project, a contactless smart card solution that supports multiple applications, including event ticketing, public transport, and payments, has received the 2016 Award for Innovation, as judged by the Connected Stadium Summit, held in London this past October.

The card, based on MIFARE® DESFire® contactless IC, gives Turkish football fans a more convenient, more secure way to buy and use match tickets, and performs a number of other functions as well. The card can be used as a bank card, a credit card, a transport card, a store-discount card, and as a loyalty card to collect points toward team-sponsored rewards.

Perhaps even more important, the PASSOLIG card has also made Turkey’s football matches an even better experience for everyone in attendance. Turkish football fans are known for their fierce dedication to the game, and sometimes their enthusiasm can get out of hand. With the introduction of the PASSOLIG card’s e-ticket platform, which requires fans to register before purchasing a ticket, Turkey’s football matches have had fewer instances of violence and hooliganism.

As of April 14, 2014, traditional paper tickets have been replaced by the electronic PASSOLIG cards, for entry and use at any of the football venues used by the 36 football teams in the Spor Toto Super League and the TFF 1st League. The tickets for individual matches or season passes are sent to the email address and mobile phones of the cardholders, along with key details for the match. Card holders can use the card as their access pass. On the day of the match, they present their card to mobile terminals mounted at stadium entryways. The electronic format makes it easier and faster to enter the stadium, since there’s less waiting in line.

The PASSOLIG cards can also be used for public transportation and as cash for daily purchases. Cardholders register their team preference when they sign up for the card, and can also participate in reward campaigns sponsored by their favourite team. They can, for example, be eligible to receive gifts and special discounts, or win sweepstakes that offer exclusive experiences, such as meeting a star player.

The card can be used just like any other bank card to withdraw money from ATM machines worldwide, and can be topped up using an electronic funds transfer (EFT), by transferring balances from other bank cards, by visiting a PTT bank branch, or by using one of the thousands of N’Kolay or PTTmatik teller machines located throughout Turkey. The card also functions as a credit card, and can be used in the same way other EMV contactless cards are to make online or offline purchases.

The PASSOLIG cards are backed by a strong program for Customer Relationship Management (CRM), which is used for data analysis and to gauge the success of individual promotional campaigns. The PASSOLIG card is also part of the Turkish Football League’s aim to make their arenas entirely cashless venues. It won’t be long before cardholders will be able to use their PASSOLIG mobile application to place orders from their seats, while enjoying the game.

Aktif Investment Bank, an Istanbul-based financial institution, worked with the Turkish Football Federation, the technology integrator E-Kent, and other organizations to design, develop, and deploy the PASSOLIG card. The team chose MIFARE DESFire as the basis for the card because the contactless chip supports multiple applications, including ticketing and payment, while maintaining the appropriate levels of security and privacy.

You can also read this article on our NXP blog.