MIFARE’s the solution

Asian transport operators have high expectations when it comes to public transport ticketing. They want a technology that’s low-cost, future-proof, and with tickets available in huge volumes. Three good reasons to opt for MIFARE.

One of the first countries to adopt contactless ticketing, South Korea’s entire public transport system is based on MIFARE. In China, over 80 cities run on it. Worldwide, an installed base of around 600 million cards, and over six million readers, account for an estimated 72.5% share of the contactless and dual-interface smart card market.

All change at Delhi

Every day, around half a million commuters use the metro in Delhi. However, when it started operating in December 2002, the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) selected a proprietary contactless technology. This led to two major problems.

First, the tokens cost Rs 120 (~ USD 3) each, as they had to be imported. With commuters losing around 400 tokens every day, this represented a daily loss of over a thousand dollars!

Second, the technology wasn’t sophisticated enough to offer banking functionality. With many Automatic Fare Collection (AFC) cards evolving into multi-application cards, DMRC’s system was being left behind.

So DMRC turned to NXP – and to MIFARE – and started phasing out the old tokens. NXP helped DMRC tune the system to accept both kinds of token until the originals fall out of circulation. And, also with support from NXP, local firm APK Identification is now producing 550,000 new tokens – at only Rs 21 each!

MIFARE also provides DMRC with a clear path to multi-application cards. In the words of Mr. Anuj Dayal, Chief Publicity Relations Officer- DMRC, “We are planning to expand to other relevant systems such as parking, feeder route bus services and vending applications on smart card technology.”

Bangkok embraces MIFARE

In Thailand, rising oil prices are making public transport more attractive than ever. As a result, the country’s two main transit operators are adopting a single AFC solution based on the easiest, fastest and most convenient solution with a reasonable price-tag – MIFARE.

With around 200,000 commuters using its services daily, Bangkok Metro Public Co., Ltd. (BMCL) was using a proprietary contactless technology. However, the company encountered problems similar to DMRC’s – and adopted a similar solution, ordering 100,000 MIFARE cards in October 2005.

In December 1999, Bangkok’s Sky Train transformed public transportation in the capital by lifting passengers high in the air. Today, Bangkok Mass Transit System Public Co., Ltd. (BTS) plans to transform the Sky Train service itself, starting by replacing stored value magnetic-stripe cards with 1.45 million MIFARE cards.

MIFARE – ready for NFC

MIFARE offers a wealth of possibilities for a future full of multi-application cards. Equally important, it’s compatible with NFC, the next-generation technology that’s enabling a whole range of new and existing applications. This interoperability is benefiting both technologies: making MIFARE even more attractive and creating a vast NFCcompatible infrastructure that is helping bring about a revolution in the way we all interact with our increasingly electronic environment.

LEGIC Identsystems Ltd announced that it will support NXP Semiconductors’ (Nasdaq: NXPI) MIFARE technology in its reader platforms. By becoming a MIFARE licensee, LEGIC will be able to ensure that its reader components and systems are compatible with the portfolio of MIFARE-based smart cards, including MIFARE™ Classic, MIFARE Plus™ and MIFARE DESFire™ EV1. The agreement will foster LEGIC in its position as a leading supplier of multi-standard identification technology. Users will be able to combine the benefits of the two most advanced contactless technologies worldwide. 

By integrating MIFARE technology in its LEGIC reader components LEGIC addresses the need to serve global markets with a single reader device and true multi-standard systems. This will provide a wide variety of benefits for customers. From a technological point of view, the migration from first to more advanced generations of contactless identification solutions will become easier as MIFARE Classic or LEGIC prime installations can be smoothly migrated to latest technology, including LEGIC advant and LEGIC card-in-card solutions, a virtual transponder, which can be implemented on the NXP SmartMX™ secure microcontroller platform. System operators benefit from the easy handling of multiple technologies. End users will gain more flexibility due to an increased range of selectable applications and possibilities to merge their systems. The agreement accommodates manufacturers and reduces their development efforts and their operational and logistics costs. 

“This expansion of the MIFARE licensing program further underscores the importance of MIFARE as an open architecture platform for end-to-end solutions. The trusted MIFARE contactless technology is used in many different applications including public transportation, access management, event ticketing and customer loyalty. This agreement will enable LEGIC to integrate MIFARE into its existing product portfolio of powerful security and multi-application management solutions, enabling system integrators to benefit from an enlarged ecosystem” said Henri Ardevol, Vice President and General Manager, Secure Transactions, NXP Semiconductors. “In addition, NXP and LEGIC share the common goal to support continuous security upgrades based on the evolution and extension of established platforms.”

Urs A. Lampe, Vice President Product Marketing and New Business of LEGIC: “Connecting the MIFARE and LEGIC platforms addresses the evolving needs of end users worldwide. Thanks to the enhanced interoperability of our technologies, we are offering even more choice and flexibility for our customers while also providing them with an easy upgrade path. We are convinced that this partnership will give us the opportunity to set an important milestone in the establishment of multi standard systems and the simple use of new technology generations.”