NXP Semiconductors N.V. (Nasdaq: NXPI) announced that its MIFARE DESFire EV1 contactless microcontroller IC has been chosen to power the Automatic Fare Collection (AFC) scheme of Madrid’s public transportation system. Operated by the Consorcio Regional de Transportes de Madrid (CRTM), the public transportation system covers the city’s urban metro, bus network and suburban rail network, which is run by more than 50 different private operators. In total, more than 1.8 billion journeys are taken across the network annually, and migrating to contactless AFC will enable the consortium to offer an improved service to its passengers. 

Based on MIFARE DESFire EV1, NXP’s contactless IC technology will be used to drive all season tickets including subsidized travel tickets for younger and retired passengers. NXP’s MIFARE DESFire EV1 is one of the most secure solutions for smartcards on the market today, offering fast read rates and advanced security features, which make it the ideal solution for transport ticket schemes, access management and identity applications. 

MIFARE DESFire is an open architecture platform for end-to-end solutions offering the flexibility and security necessary for a state of the art fare collection system. The platform has been proven in many cities worldwide including London, New Delhi and Nanjing. It is important that innovative multi-application services can be added seamlessly onto the platform, such as banking convergence cards through the MIFARE DESFire EV1 implementations on payment cards or NFC applications on mobile phones. In the open architecture platform of MIFARE, these services are enabled by a wide range of supporting products from licensed partners. 

“The ability of MIFARE DESFire to integrate security systems based on 3-DES and AES, and its evolution to more advanced products (like the MIFARE DESFire EV1), have been some of the reasons, among others, that have determined the choice of this product by CRTM as the technology for their tickets” said Antonio Rubio Fernández, Jefe del Área de Innovación Tecnológica, Consorcio Regional de Transportes de Madrid. 

Madrid’s new contactless ticketing operation is serving a population of over 5.2 million people and many tourists and business travelers.  It offers increased benefits to both passengers and the CRTM alike. Typically contactless terminals and checkpoint gates offer increased performance, improving embarkation and disembarkation speeds, helping improve the overall passenger experience. In addition, the creation of a new contactless-based AFC solution will enable the development of new fare systems, benefiting both residents and visitors to Madrid. 

“This is a huge milestone for NXP.  Madrid is the continent’s third largest city, so this is a significant testament to the capabilities of this product,” said Henri Ardevol, Vice President and General Manager of Secure Transactions, NXP Semiconductors. “Due to the size of Madrid’s public transportation systems, CRTM wanted to deploy the most secure and scalable contactless AFC solution possible. As a result, our solution was required to undergo rigorous testing and piloting to ensure it fully met the needs of the consortium, thus demonstrating the superior features and security we’ve built into this product.” 

MIFARE DESFire EV1 has been designed for systems integrators looking for leading security features and wanting to combine multiple applications in one contactless smartcard.  The product is based upon open global standards for both air interfaces and cryptographic methods. In addition to offering data transfer rates of up to 848 kbit/s, MIFARE DESFire utilizes a Triple DES, 3K DES, and AES hardware cryptographic engine for securing the data on the smartcards and data during transmission.

Tetherball, an industry leader in mobile loyalty and rewards solutions, announced today its recent international competition success.

NXP Semiconductors, a global industry leader in contactless MIFARE technology, hosted the international 2010 Best MIFARE Card Design Competition. Entries were judged on card design originality and the program application.

Tetherball’s selected design is used as part of Tetherball Rewards, a mobile loyalty application. The RFID tags are distributed to consumers on premise and affixed to the phone. Each tag has a unique code, which is text in to “tether” the account. When presented to a contactless reader points are accumulated in the consumers account and brand related text messages are sent out instantly.

“Tetherball Tags are critical for the early deployment of our Tetherball Rewards mobile loyalty solution,” say Scott Yancey, Founder and CEO of Tetherball.  “We strived to create a unique form factor with our tags to drive a higher level of engagement with consumers. To be recognized by NXP for our efforts indicates we are on the right track.  Tags are a bridge to more advanced mobile technology, Near Field Communication. Tetherball looks forward to continue work with various NXP products as NFC technology expands in the USA.” 

“There are endless opportunities to use NXP’s contactless MIFARETM technology and we are very pleased to be working with an upcoming, creative company like Tetherball,” said Martin Gruber, segment manager, automatic fare collection, NXP Semiconductors.  “The key in using MIFARETM is not to simply create a flashy concept, but to pay attention and take full advantage of its wide range of unique and superior functionality and convenience for the end users to make a program stand out– Tetherball achieved this!” 

The top selected designs will be featured in NXP’s booth at the upcoming CARTES & IDentification show in Paris December 7-9th. The CARTES show is an international event bringing together all the industry leaders in digital security, smart technologies, payment and contactless.  NXP’s booth is located in Hall 4, booth N001. 

About Tetherball

Tetherball, an innovative Mobile Loyalty services provider, offers a different approach to digital relationship marketing by “tethering” brands to target audiences through their mobile devices. Tetherball programs increase revenue, improve profitability and drive customer loyalty through mobile coupons, mobile rewards programs, mobile sweepstakes and mobile notifications. Tetherball clients enjoy real time analytics and reporting on program performance and redemption through Mobiquitous 2.0™, Tetherball’s own patent-pending web-based intelligent analytics platform. Tetherball serves national retailers and ad agencies and has delivered over 150% growth in new revenue and higher customer retention and loyalty for these clients. Founded in 2007, Tetherball was the first company in the U.S. to deploy an RFID based mobile loyalty solution and is one of the fastest growing mobile marketing companies in the United States.