Standards just the ticket for Snapper

just ticket for snapper image

Issue 47 – March 2013

If you've taken a ride on a New Zealand bus you will have used or noticed Snapper terminals as you hop on and as you hop off, offering the opportunity to pay for your fare using a bright red Snapper (contactless) card. The benefits of not carrying and handling cash are great for bus passengers and drivers alike, explains Chief Executive of Snapper Services Limited, Miki Szikszai, but the advantages of Snapper extend beyond public transport. The Snapper card can be used for taxi fares, retail, and anywhere where an unattended payment solution is required.

Snapper Services Limited is a contactless payment platform provider and, Miki says, Standards are critical to a business where a contactless card payment platform is required to interoperate with other payment platforms, where each smart card holds a mine of stored transactional information, and where security is key.

'Without Standards, Snapper would have had to have started from scratch, developing payment interfaces and card and platform operational criteria as it went.'

Miki identifies the interfaces with other payment platforms and payment methods as the most important areas within Snapper for the application of Standards.

'An excellent example of this is the new Snapper mobile application – the first New Zealand mobile payment platform. By developing to global Standards for Near Field Communication (NFC) SIM cards, Snapper was able to be quick to market with a mobile phone payment and ticketing applet that can now be rolled out anywhere where these Standards are supported.'

For example, having developed a prototype mobile phone application in partnership with 2degrees, using these international Standards, the Samsung Galaxy S III mobile launched recently with the Snapper application working 'out of the box'.

Asked how he would sum up the contribution of Standards to the payments industry, Miki says Standards provide certainty.

'There are various mechanisms now available for providing payments in collaboration with other partners – mobile, integrated ticketing solutions, unattended payment kiosks, and so on. Everyone following a common set of Standards guarantees interoperability and the delivery of a complete integrated system producing consistent outcomes.'

As users of global Standards, and strong advocates for standardisation, Snapper staff have contributed significant value to the National Integrated Ticketing Interoperability Standards here in New Zealand; contributing their time, their expertise, and intellectual property. Miki says that their aim is to drive the values of certainty and interoperability that they see coming from well-written international Standards.

Miki explains that Standards can help New Zealand businesses by enabling us to produce global solutions and to overcome trade barriers, and by extending our capability offshore. 'Snapper proves the point that by building on work that has been started elsewhere, we can be quick to market, and we can produce solutions with global applicability and appeal. Snapper's Korean contactless card partner (the Korean Smart Card Company) is extending its system from regional to inter-regional interoperability – enabling Hong Kong visitors to use their payment cards when visiting Seoul. Standards can help take away the market isolation experienced by New Zealand businesses, and can open up markets in Asia and beyond.'

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