Access control applications and transportation systems were the “killer applications” that caused the boom in the contactless cards. Access control systems are generally do not require anything more than a unique id, but transportation systems are more complex.
Speaking generally, two products dominate the contactless transportation installations: NXP‘s mifare family and the Calypso family, which are famous from the ISO 14443 Type A and B, by the way. Mifare has been dominant for years, but with the security leak that was imposed by the German CCC has been quite a barrier for Mifare lately. NXP responded with Mifare Plus, which is a product designed for migrating the current systems without changing the card media. I think it’s a very good move.
In the last 3-4 years, we saw that banks are trying to penetrate into the contactless transportation systems. Unfortunately the technology that the banks have -EMV- can not respond to the transportation ticketing requirements. Both Visa and MasterCard are working on this.
I think this will eventually lead to more standardized schemes in the transport ticketing world. Both NXP and Calypso already have compliant products with GlobalPlatform. But the effort that the GlobalPlatform itself will make more efficient affect, not just on the cards, but the readers and terminals as well. It’s also important in terms of NFC based payment scenarios in the transportation since the GSM world will be using a SIM-centric systems based on GlobalPlatform standards.