T3 Webinar Question and Answer Transcript

Your Smart Phone is Getting Smarter: Leveraging Open Fare Payment Systems and Mobile Devices (June 29, 2011)

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Q. How is the PIV card authenticated by the transit system, online and offline, and is there a common/open method for authenticating PIV cards from all the different sources?

Greg Garback: Yes, that's actually a very, very good question. I think in Washington, we're looking at this from sort of a white list managed process that federal agencies, through transit benefits, management system, would alert the representative transit agency that these particular sets of cards from these particular sets of agencies are good for this particular value of transit. So it would be a white list managed thing locally within the transit system. And let's see, working in an offline environment, that becomes obviously, a little bit more complex. We’re looking-- this works far better in sort of a localized, always on, always online kind of system. I know that this probably comes—you know, it's a little easier, certainly in a rail system, where you've got some things gated, when you're working in a bus network, it becomes a little bit more challenging, but we are working through those issues now with 4G wireless communications and passing data messages wirelessly, which will get you an authentication or a green light within the millisecond requirement.

Q. Given the use case in transit, what mode of NFC do you see working: card emulation, peer-to-peer, or what?

Randy Vanderhoof: I mentioned that there were three different modes of communication with NFC devices: Peer-to-peer, card emulation mode, and reader mode. And payments applications are going to be transmitted through the card emulation mode, because the acceptance terminals, which are built to support the ISO 14443 communications interface for contactless cards and open bank cards, will be the same interface that's used to communicate through NFC mobile phones. There will be the card emulation mode that will emulate that 14443 communication and therefore will likely be the mode by which the data is transmitted from the mobile phone to the payment acceptance device.

Q. You mentioned and talked through the open mobile wallet. What is meant specifically by the term “open” in open mobile wallet?

Randy Vanderhoof: An open mobile wallet means that the payment function that's in that wallet can be used at any merchant that accepts contactless payments. So it would be different than a closed mobile wallet, where that wallet or the payment application on that wallet would be limited only to one service provider, such as a transit agency issuing a fare payment solution on a mobile phone.

Q. Are published standards the standards in the purchase card industry?

Randy Vanderhoof: There are a number of standards, and I'm not sure what the questioner was looking for specifically, but there are standards around the NFC functionality on the phone itself. There's going to be payment brands that are going to set standards for how payment applications are managed, and then provisioned onto mobile devices, and then the standards that exist at the merchant terminal side, in terms of accepting mobile payments, are also in place to be interoperable between cards and mobile phones, so that the acceptance point does not have a problem with someone who pays with a contactless card, and the next person behind them trying to pay with their NFC-enabled mobile phone.

Q. There seemed to be a longer transaction time in credit card use, but the use case in public transit generally requires 300 milliseconds or less. Can you discuss that?

Burt Wilhelm: We've demonstrated through a trial that was held up in New York, New Jersey market with several transit agencies, this technology. In the open public and what we realized during the trial was 300 milliseconds for the fixed locations. The transaction speeds are as good as the network that you put your transactions across, and the communications infrastructure that you've got in place. Now, we were able to achieve 300 milliseconds for the fixed locations, and we leveraged fiber optic technology, or telecommunications for the busses and the mobile transportation modes, the transaction times were slightly larger, or slightly higher.

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