From the Government Tenders website is a bit of revealing information. A tender has gone out asking for companies to build an NFC system for the Leap Card. The Leap Card is the “integrated” ticketing system, mainly for the Dublin area. The idea with this tender is that you can now top up your Leap Card with your smart phone.
Well, not with all smart phones. Not the one used by most in Ireland – the iPhone. iPhone has yet to support NFC, instead going after iBeacon. But NFC may be on the way. While Android phones are bought more, iPhone users use their phones to do the smart part of the smartphone more. Your website stats will show that. So we could hail this tender as visionary if Apple goes ahead with using NFC in the next while or short-sighted if it does nowhere. Mad how one company can distort perceptions like that.
So here’s the tender:
The National Transport Authority requires an enhancement to introduce the ability to read Leap Card from Smart Phones, and to purchase top-ups and tickets from Smart Phones and then apply the resultant ticket or top-up to the smart card via the NFC functionality on the Smart Phone.
The transparent NFC solution aims to provide Leap Card holders, which also have access to a mobile device with suitable NFC capability, a means to:
• Read information from their Leap Card
• Perform a top-up to the electronic purse value on the Leap Card
• Collect a ticket which was purchased on leapcard.ie or taxsaver.ie.
• Collect a purse top-up which was purchased on leapcard.ie.
Great to see smart phones becoming the core of public transport transactions, more of this.
Hmmm. I would have thought the solution here would be for your phone’s NFC to *become* the leap card; tap your phone against the turnstile rather than using a physical leap card.
Most of the LeapCard topup etc is already handled online with no contact required, so if I can topup using a smartphone app then I don’t see the need to tap the phone and Leap card.
One can but dream I suppose.
What Damien said.