Smart ticketing is a ticketing system where a travel ticket is electronically stored on a smartcard or a smartphone. This system allows the user to skip the ticket counter at the station. Users can buy tickets for a specific period in advance or load credit onto their account. To authorise their travel, the users have to swipe their card or phone over an NFC reader on a ticket machine or a barrier or show a QR code to a scanner. The machine then verifies the existence of a ticket or charges the account.
Smart tickets are more secure than their paper counterparts. They are harder to replicate and when a smartcard is lost or stolen, the ticket associated with it can be revoked easily. There is also an environmental advantage. Paper tickets are usually used once and thrown away. Smartcards can be used for years by one passenger or returned and used again by another.
Since NFC is also used in contactless payment systems, buying travel tickets has become even easier. Some ticket machines and readers can charge the ticket amount from the users regular credit or debit card that has an NFC chip. The same goes for applications that use NFC, like Apple Pay and Google Pay. With this feature, the user doesn’t have to worry about getting a special travel card or downloading an application. They can just use their usual payment method at the verification point. This makes travelling seamless and carefree even in a hurry.