Calypso Networks Association

CALYPSO is a contactless ticketing standard, managed by its users; not by providers, deployed in more than 25 countries and 150 major cities in the world. Keywords for CALYPSO: secure, open and interoperable. Further than public transport ticketing, CALYPSO provides multiservice applications for leisure, access control, bike and car sharing…


Calypso is an open standard for contactless services originally designed by major transport operators. For more than 20 years Calypso has been used around the world to improve the lives of end-users.

Benefits and functionalities: Today, local authorities and transport operators have to rise to the dual challenge of improving the service quality using the new technologies: contactless cards, Internet, mobiles. Related services should simplify end-user’s daily life, while fostering their loyalty and maximizing their relationship with the services providers. Electronic transactions have a key role to play in order to reach these objectives. For this reason, the technology must be secure and reliable. Calypso was designed to meet these challenges. It offers the best solution, suited to all needs: open, widespread, secure and proven.

Fast and Secure: Calypso uses up-to-date contactless technology to ensure a complete transaction in the shortest time. Based on a pat¬ented procedure, Calypso ensures the integrity of the data written onto the media (card, mobile phone, other device), even if the media is withdrawn too quickly, and leaves the application in a safe state if the communication link is bro¬ken between the terminal and the media. To avoid possible fraud or forgery, CALYPSO ensures that the media, the terminal, and the data are genuine, thanks to mutual authentication. Calypso’s high level of security is reached using secure microprocessor components, Secu¬rity Modules on terminals, and proven cryptographic algo¬rithms.

Open standard: The Calypso technology is really independent from industry suppliers. The technology is proposed by numerous indus¬trials, offering a wide and competitive range of multi-source compliant cards and terminals. Moreover, because of the huge variety of suppliers in the market, this allows different parts of the ticketing system to be assigned to different ones if required. This competition leads to a significant drop in investment costs within the tendering procedures and also enables the possibility to tender for only single elements and components of a ticket¬ing system. If there is an unfortunate case of a component from a man¬ufacturer not performing efficiently, it is possible to rapidly take on a new supplier who replaces it.

A multiservice application: Modern urban living is rapidly changing with new technolog¬ical innovations, one of which is the possibility to integrate different electronic “on demand” services into one single medium. Therefore, different applications can be brought together into one single device, offering to the citizens in the city the simplest way to access to a wide variety of services in various sectors: car park, bike and auto sharing, carpooling, driving license, tourism, culture and leisure, universities, ac-cess control, retail and loyalty…

All these services are in use in many cities which use Calyp¬so to propose to their citizens the «Urban Pass”: it gives the ability to integrate mobility and banking applications, local authority and public administration service access for the benefice of the end-users.

Fully intermodal and interoperable: In the case of public transport, interoperability and inter¬modality are key issues: end-users require having a single media to access all the different means of transportation and to travel everywhere in the world. Calypso technology is able to satisfy those require¬ments while offering freedom and independence to each operator. CNA has set up certification programs for media and ter¬minals managed by independent laboratories to guaran¬tee the technical interoperability between the different suppliers. CNA proposes the TRIANGLE solution, a Calypso application dedicated to international interoperability which allows the end-user to travel seamless everywhere with his own trans¬port card, mobile phone, bank card… For the operators and authorities, it is the simplest scheme of interoperability to implement, without any clearing system.

Ready for new trends: Today it appears new forms of media which may help to simplify the end-users life: NFC phones, dual banking cards (payment and transport), watches and other wearable de¬vices. Unlike other technologies, Calypso is ready to support all these form factors. A generic applet Calypso is already avail¬able, fully compliant with the international standards, easily downloadable onto those new media. Today, Calypso integrates the emerging ticketing schemes, card or system centric, such as Account Based, Open Payment, Mobile ticketing, etc.

A worldwide development: Calypso benefits from a large and deep footprint in the world with more than 150 million Calypso cards and 490 000 readers in 125 cities and 25 countries among which: Algeria, Belgium, Canada, Columbia, Ecuador, France, Israel, Italy, Latvia, Mexico, Morocco, Portugal, Switzerland, Venezuela...

A challenge for Calypso: lead ticketing to open source solutions. Coming from a rather closed environment, public transport relies more and more on open solutions. This movement towards openness is very clear in the field of passenger information, open data is now the rule, and the main transport operators have taken this way. Through APIs, open source software and a free access to data, many developers offer applications for the benefice of the customer, with an easier access to multimodal transport.
But at this stage ticketing remains in a quite closed environment with manufacturers providing proprietary solutions. For many years, Calypso has been a de facto ticketing standard, open because accessible to all manufacturers without any restrictions. Today Calypso strongly thinks that ticketing has to follow the same way than passenger information and go to open source solutions. So Calypso offers free of charge, in an open source business model, tools such as an applet for mobile phones or Triangle the interoperable ticketing application. A SDK, very powerful API for integrating different kind of systems, traditional ones or Account Based Ticketing ones will be available soon. Thanks to these tools, open source will also enter, for the first time, the world of ticketing solutions. Of course, ticketing cannot strictly follow the example of passenger information, since it is dedicated to managing the revenues. Issues such as guarantee of security, guarantee of interoperability, etc. requires strong governance: here is the role of CNA, the Association of users and providers of Calypso, to offer simultaneously these guarantees and open source solutions.

To know more about TRIANGLE Triangle provides an answer to the needs for interoperability of ticketing at an international level. Triangle is a Calypso ticketing application dedicated to interoperability within a card or a portable object, such as a mobile phone or a bank card. The Triangle application is integrated the portable object beside or not a local transport ticketing application used daily.

The Triangle application: - is shared between all the transport networks which accept Triangle - is secured by the same rules and the same shared keys, which ensure the authenticity of the medium and the integrity of the data in a sale or a validation transaction. - can store transport titles of whatever network participating to Triangle.

Consequently, Triangle is the simplest scheme of interoperability to implement for the operator, and the most convenient for the customer, who can buy and validate tickets in all Triangle networks with his own card or mobile phone. Triangle answers mainly to the needs of interoperability between two different tariff areas (2 regions for example) for regular users, and to the needs of occasional users who spend a few days in a city or a region. Each operator Triangle member decides which transport titles are offered to the customer through the Triangle application. For example, he may decide to limit them to titles for occasional users, such as single tickets, one-day tickets, etc. and to interregional tickets, etc.

Triangle is a scheme of interoperability valid worldwide. A first application of TRIANGLE in 2017: transborder ticketing between France and Belgium. The “Métropole Européenne de Lille”, the transit authority of the urban community of Lille in France is in contact with all Belgium transport operators: - SNCB, with the Anvers-Courtrai-Lille and Liège-Tournai-Lile train lines, - TGV lines, Eurostar, Thalys, - Transborder bus lines to the Hainaut Occidental (Mouscron) network operated by TEC, - Transborder bus lines to the West Vlaanderen network operated by De Lijn.

In Belgium, the BMC (Belgium Mobility Card) federates all the transport operators from Belgium, i.e. the STIB, operator of the Brussels region, SNCB, railways, and De Lijn and TEC, the two operators for the whole country. These four Belgium operators have implemented an integrated ticketing system for Belgium, whose name is MOBIB: all users of Public Transport in Belgium have a MOBIB card to pay their trip in the whole country. Both French and Belgium operators decided to improve the service they provide to their customers, by offering an easier access to their networks. The present tariff integration existing between Mouscron in Belgium and Wattrelos in France will be extended to a full interoperability between Nord Pas de Calais region and Belgium.

TRIANGLE makes possible this new service for customers: the Belgium and the Lille systems are both based on the CALYPSO ticketing standard, and consequently the MOBIB card and the Lille card integrates the TRIANGLE application. That means that the transborder contracts of transport are registered in the TRIANGLE application, whether in the MOBIB card or in the Lille card: the customer use only one card to travel from his country to the other. Furthermore, as TRIANGLE is implemented in all Belgium, it means that this service could be open on a wider scale, between Belgium and Nord Pas de Calais, for example for people from Brussels travelling to Lille or vice versa.

The customers of both countries will soon benefit from this new service available in 2017.