Feeds

Rail companies roll out barcode ticket standard

We don't need no stinkin' NFC

The essential guide to IT transformation

The UK's rail operators have agreed to adopt a national standard for electronic tickets with bar-codes, opening the way for train tickets on mobile phones to be accepted everywhere.

Following successful trails with various train companies Masabi has worked with the Rail Settlement plan - the body that cross charges networks for ticketing to create an open standard for train tickets carrying bar codes to be accepted across rail franchises - enabling tickets to be printed out at home, or even displayed on mobile-phone screens, and used on journeys between network operators.

Selling tickets is an expensive part of running a rail franchise, and nearly 90 per cent of tickets are still sold at stations using ticket machines or at traditional windows.

Trials run by Masabi, who specialise in rendering bar-code information on phone screens, have apparently demonstrated that customers will happily buy tickets using their mobile phone - either while travelling to, or on arrival at, the railway station. Masabi's Java application stores the customer's credit card details locally, so the user just keys in the three-digit code from the back of their card along with origin and destination, and the ticket is bought and delivered over SMS or data connection where available.

But the standard also allows for bar codes to be rendered on other devices, or printed out after being bought on-line. Ticket inspectors will need to be equipped with bar-code readers, of course, but many are already sporting the technology and the standard has been devised in such a way that the last eight digits can be manually entered and checked on-line if necessary. Where a bar-code reader is used it shouldn't be necessary to perform an on-line verification as the 2D bar code contains authenticated details of the journey paid for.

The service does open up the opportunity to have one's phone poised, ready to buy a ticket should an inspector turn up, but you'll have to ensure you're are in the middle of a long carriage for that plan - as being dependent on timely SMS delivery to avoid a fine is not a good position to be in.®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
So, Apple won't sell cheap kit? Prepare the iOS garden wall WRECKING BALL
It can throw the low cost race if it looks to the cloud
EE fails to apologise for HUGE T-Mobile outage that hit Brits on Friday
Customer: 'Please change your name to occasionally somewhere'
Time Warner Cable customers SQUEAL as US network goes offline
A rude awakening: North Americans greeted with outage drama
We need less U.S. in our WWW – Euro digital chief Steelie Neelie
EC moves to shift status quo at Internet Governance Forum
BT customers face broadband and landline price hikes
Poor punters won't be affected, telecoms giant claims
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.