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Findings of Institutional Requirements for Interoperable Smartcard Fare Payment Systems 27 fare payment systems possible. Proprietary solutions were developed long before standardization discussions began. Once proprietary technology hurdles have been removed as a barrier to market entry, suppli- ers need new ways to distinguish themselves from competitors. Frequently, suppliers may attempt to accomplish this by lowering price, providing better service, adding features, or improving the reliability of their equipment and systems. From the supplier perspective, loss of pricing power is clearly undesirable. Therefore, attempts to impose a common standard or specification on the equipment suppliers probably will be resisted. 2.5.3 Supplier Compliance with Available Standards Even with a clear business case, other incentives may be necessary to achieve universal accept- ance of a standard. One strategy would be to link standard conformance to capital-funding grant approval. In this scenario, FTA funds for smartcard implementations could only be available for projects that agree to conform to a common standard. However, this strategy can only be applied to new projects. Such an approach would require the governance of a large body of funding such as the FTA. A slightly different approach to this strategy, one that focuses on rewarding an adopt- ing agency versus imposing a penalty, is to make special funding available to agencies that elect to adopt the standard.