Smart ticketing is a system where an entitlement to travel (ticket) is stored electronically on a microchip rather than being printed onto a paper ticket. 

The main benefits of this system are that smart ticketing decreases the risk of fraud, improves passenger experience and improves the efficiency of our participant operators. 

TravelMaster strive to provide all our customers with an easy to understand information about how we develop our integrated multi-modal multi operator ticketing system offer but understand that some the terminology behind it is a lot more complicated! 

We have compiled a list of jargon busting guide to the key terms in smart ticketing:  


Action Listing

A process to carry out an action on a smartcard such as adding a product. The action and associated smartcard reference are placed on an Action List. The Action List can be sent to specific POSTs and the action is carried out when the smartcard is presented to an appropriate POST.

Cardholder Management System (CMS)

A database holding customer information including the smartcards that each customer holds.

Electronic Ticket Machine (ETM)

 The on-bus machine used to record passenger travel.

Host Operator or Processing System (HOPS)

A Host Operator or Processing System (HOPS) system is a key part of any smart ticketing deployment. HOPS process transaction data from customer ticket purchases and journey validations along with the data from hardware terminals on buses, trams and trains.   

ITSO Product Entity (IPE) 

Any ticketing product that is registered to ITSO

ITSO Secure Application Modules (ISAMs)

ISAMs are managed by HOPS to provide secure to our smart ticketing systems. POSTs are fitted with ISAMS to ensure that are products are encoded for use onboard services. 

ITSO Shell Reference Number (ISRN) 

This is simply the long 18-digit number associated with each individual smartcard.

Near Field Communication (NFC)

The technology that allows you to load a smart ticket product from your phone device onto a smartcard.

Point Of Service Terminal (POST) 

POSTs are all ticket machines found onboard vehicles and sales terminals in retail locations