Rio de Janeiro will be the first city in Brazil to launch a pilot program that enables NFC ticketing for public transport using mobile phones. Partnerships with mobile operators and smartphone suppliers have allowed mobile phones to act as a RioCard Transit Card. This initiative is a partnership between RioCard, Motorola Mobility, Tecnologia da Informação, Gemalto and the country’s four leading mobile operators: Claro, Oi, Telefónica and TIM.
NFC allows safe contactless data exchange when two compatible devices are placed within a few inches of each other. Contactless technology was first adopted in Rio de Janeiro with RioCard transit card back in 2003 and is now in everyday use for millions of users. For the first time in Brazil, smartphones will be used as mobile wallets with embedded NFC technology enabling a secure payment for tickets to use on public transport.
Two hundred users of trains, buses and ferries have been selected to work together with these companies in this pilot, which is to last for a three month period and is expected to conclude in December 2013. To pay for the transportation, the user needs to place the smartphone Motorola RAZR D3, which, as the first popular device offering NFC technology, has been exclusively selected for the pilot, near to the the RioCard reader terminal. There is an app that allows users to easily check balances on the screen anytime. Soon, RioCard will also offer prepaid charges on the device itself. Director of RioCard TI Homero Quintaes said, “It is a practical and fast system that brings freedom to the customer.”
Gemalto, a world leader in digital security, is providing its UpTeq multi tenant NFC SIM cards with embedded Mifare4Mobile technology. The card protects the users’ credentials enabling them to securely pay for their journey with a simple tap of their phone. As technology continues to evolve in the future, with the addition of Gemalto’s Trusted Service Manager (TSM) platform the solution will be able to support the introduction of an extensive range of value-added services.
Telecom Director for Gemalto in Brazil, Damien Bullot explains, “Transportation is emerging as one of the major applications for NFC technology, and our UpTeq multi-tenant NFC SIM card is fully scalable to host an extensive range of services now and in the future…As more and more banks, merchants and service providers introduce leading edge mobile payment technology, Gemalto’s scalable solution can seamlessly accommodate the addition of new service providers as the marketplace evolves.”
“This innovative pilot in Latin America shows mobile NFC digitizing ticketing, but this is just a starting point, as mobile commerce will drive demand for new services such as payment, vouchers, loyalty programs and access, among others. It’s an exciting time in the region…The momentum we’ve seen in mobile NFC services continues to grow at a rapid pace,” said Pierre Combelles, Head of Mobile Commerce, GSMA.