Innovative contactless technology is making its mark in the French Alpine city of Grenoble, where both card and cell phone form factors can be seen in action.

In 2002, the city contracted ASK to provide 90,000 dual interface cards and contactless couplers for integration in fare readers and the AFC system on its buses and trains.

In 2007, the city also became home to a transit-related NFC pilot supported by Bouygues Telecom, Inside Contactless, Parkeon and Gemalto. During the trial, 100 users were given NFC handsets to pay for fares after downloading tickets over the air. Participants could also use the technology to pick up the latest updates on travel delays and timetables, and tap smart tags near their bus or tram stop to get digital maps of the area.

League one soccer team Grenoble Foot 38 opted for contactless in its 20,000-capacity Stade des Alpes venue in 2008. When plans for the scheme were announced, insiders said member cards would be issued to fans who could use them to purchase match day tickets for entry to the stadium. Additional applications include an eMoney facility, which can be used to pay for travel on city buses and trams as well as food and merchandise in the stadium.

With the French government putting its weight behind contactless and NFC projects, an increasing number of services offering applications for contactless ticketing, payment, tourism and healthcare look likely to be launched in several of the country’s leading cities, including Grenoble, in 2011.

Category Number Score
Point of sale terminals/readers deployed 11-50 2
Different types of contactless device 2 4
Number of contactless devices 5001+ 50
Number of applications 4 4
Total number of service providers involved 4 4
Number of banks in partnership 0 0
Number of operators in partnership 1 1
Number of merchant locations 1-10 1
Transit operators in scheme 1 1
Parking sector 0 0
Vending 0 0
Entertainment sector – football, leisure, congress etc 1 1
Public sector activities – libraries, schools etc 0 0
Smart poster environments in place 1 1
Marketing campaigns rolled out 1 1
Length of time project implemented 25 months + 5
ROI – future potential 1 1
Green credentials 1000 5
Social equality 0 0
Total 81

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