Tampere (Finland) City Card

A city-wide smart card based scheme is being created in Tampere, Finland. The Tampere City Card is a citizen card that allows access to local services. Tampere initiated the e-Tampere programme with the aim to make Tampere a leader in information society development through the implementation of an electronic services infrastructure for local citizens and businesses. An integral part of this project is the Tampere City Card, which entered a pilot in 2003/4 and has added additional functionality for 2006.

Since 1997, Tampere has had a travel card scheme (The Tampere Travel Card) for its regional bus services. The majority of the city's 200,000 population have one of these cards. The travel card can also be used for access to
leisure centres. Travel card transactions are around 100,000 per day on the buses and 20% of all leisure centre access.

The Tampere City Card builds on the travel card scheme, adding payment functions for students to existing bus travel and leisure service access. The bus travel, leisure pass and student payments operate via a contactless interface. The chip has a single electronic purse application that can be loaded with multiples of €20 and is deducted appropriately on the bus, at the leisure centres or in cafeterias.

Interestingly, one of the key lessons of the project has been a service that wasn't successful. In addition to the above applications, a public key infrastructure (PKI) was created for access to online transactional services, such as applying for rental housing. This proved too difficult to use and administer and has been dropped from the programme.

The immediate future of the Tampere City Card is to include the integration of library functions with the card. There are plans to adopt a dual-interface smart card (i.e. A card with both contact and contactless interfaces) and provide a range of new services for their e-equipped citizens. Payments, car parking and loyalty schemes are said to be on the agenda, as well as smart media such as mobile phones and PDAs.

Further information is available at www.Tampere.Fi