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10 Smartcard Interoperability Issues for the Transit Industry The most common payment-enabled device is a key fob with the same contactless chip as a smartcard (e.g., the ExxonMobil Speedpass device). Contactless smartcard chips have also been embedded in mobile phone covers or even into a designated slot in the mobile phone. The pri- mary difference between a contactless smartcard and a key fob or mobile phone cover is the form. Therefore, when a transit-enabled contactless chip is embedded in, for example, a mobile phone cover, interoperability is the same as for transit-issued contactless smartcards, as long as the same contactless chips are used. Interoperability between devices that have a transit-payment application or a non-transit- payment application that may be used to pay a fare on a bus or at a faregate using a non-ISO-14443 interface will have to be established on an individual basis. The financial services community has evaluated different wireless interfaces for payment and established interface specifications that are available on the Visa website. 1.5.4 Financial Services Industry Interoperability Issues The financial services industry is in the early stages of rolling out contactless payment prod- ucts. The only standard that financial institutions have agreed to use for contactless payment is ISO 14443. MasterCard and Visa's payment applications started out differently. The MasterCard application used a separate account number on the card linked to the cardholder credit card account in the back-office system (similar to the ExxonMobil Speedpass architecture). Visa, how- ever, encodes a magnetic stripe image in the contactless chip memory. The card associations are beginning to agree on a common specification for contactless payment. The terminal suppliers are providing POS devices that can read and process all contactless payment products. Terminal suppliers have started developing the necessary middleware (software) to provide merchants with maximum flexibility to choose which contactless payment products to accept. 1.6 Hypothetical Examples--Interoperability Between WMATA and TransLink To determine what information must be exchanged between systems to create interoperabil- ity, two real-world systems were selected for the following hypothetical examples: Using a TransLink Card from the San Francisco Bay Area Region to pay for riding a Washing- ton Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) bus or train in Washington, DC; and Loading value on a SmarTrip card from Washington, DC, in San Francisco to pay a fare to ride a train or bus. The first element of interoperability that must exist is the capability of the readers of each par- ticipant to read and write to cards. For this discussion, the process of reading and writing to the cards is addressed by ISO 14443. The second element is the data to be exchanged between the card and the reader. Such data may also be designated as the transit application. The third ele- ment is the transfer of transaction data from the devices (e.g., faregates and add-value machines) to the central processing host. The fourth element is the exchange of transaction data between the participating entities to allow settlement for value loads or uses of the card in the respective systems. Table 3 shows the minimum information required across a typical AFC system, such as those represented in this case study. The tiers presented in the table begin with the data source for the data input, the card, and end with the data output used to generate the documentation for clear- ing between WMATA and TransLink, the back-office system.