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Is the Philippines Ready for CIPURSE™ and the OSPT™ Alliance

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When I first got the invite to attend the launch, presentation and workshop of the OSPT™ Alliance, I thought the first two letters represented “open source,” the development model that promotes universal access via a free license to a product’s design or blueprint, and universal redistribution of that design or blueprint, including subsequent improvements. You see, I also work for a Filipino IT company GoAutoDial Inc. which develops and distributes an open source telephony software solution for small and medium enterprises, especially contact centers. But as it turned out, the OSPT™ Alliance is not about open source software. It is about open standards.

Akin to the likes of IEEE or ISO standards, OSPT™ or Open Standard for Public Transport is all about providing the standards, guidelines and specifications to help the transit fare collection community move towards the next generation of secure, cost-effective, and flexible fare collection solutions based on an open standard. As part of its mission, it developed the CIPURSE™ open standard for secure fare collection systems. It is a not-for-profit and vendor-neutral industry alliance supported by members from five continents covering the whole transport value chain and beyond.

Founded by smart card manufacturers Giesecke & Devrient GmbH (G&D) and Oberthur Technologies and chip suppliers Infineon Technologies AG, and INSIDE Secure S.A. (formerly INSIDE Contactless) in January 2010, the OSPT™ Alliance collectively defined the CIPURSE™ standard.

The CIPURSE™ Certification Program documentation can be downloaded by anyone and an FAQ page is accessible to know more about OSPT™ Alliance and CIPURSE™. The CIPURSE™ specification is available to full members, associate members and evaluators. The CIPURSE™ software development kit (SDK) gives you the tools that you need to begin developing transit solutions. Members and evaluators can purchase the SDK at the OSPT™ Alliance website. White papers, videos and presentation materials are also available.

So, who are using the CIPURSE™ standards?

Let me give you a synapse of the companies and organizations presented during the workshop at The Peninsula Manila last October 14, 2014.

Deutsche Telekom, one of the world’s leading integrated telecommunications companies with 140 million mobile customers, has joined the OSPT™ Alliance as an Associate Member. It is the first mobile network operator to join the alliance, and will work with the other members to help broaden support for the CIPURSE™ open security standard by the ecosystem of mobile operators, enabling it to gain greater acceptance in that market. With its NFC-capable (near field communication) SkySIM CX SIM card, Giesecke & Devrient (G&D) is providing a key security component for Deutsche Telekom’s digital wallet, known as MyWallet. MyWallet can be used by all Deutsche Telekom mobile network customers with an NFC-capable smartphone. As a security partner, G&D is also supplying the MasterCard PayPass payment application to enable secure electronic payments to be made via the ClickandBuy International Ltd’s virtual credit card system as the first product in Deutsche Telekom’s digital wallet.

SCAL is a product of ATM of Barcelona and Smarting. During the last years, ATM of Barcelona and Smarting have been working closely to develop an abstraction layer that enables system terminals to work with different media types. This abstraction layer is called Secure Card Abstraction Layer (SCAL) and handles all media type technologies involved in the system. SCAL is the outcome of the work carried out by ATM of Barcelona and Smarting in synergy with numerous TO of the Metropolitan Area of Barcelona. The main challenge facing Barcelona (a big name which involves the City and the Metropolitan Area) was to prescribe the technology and the fare system for a myriad of different preexistences along with more than 70 transport operators (from big ones such metro or buses of Barcelona, main rail operator, tram, etc., to very little ones with just a handful of buses).

São Paulo Transporte, the municipal body which manages the operation of São Paulo city’s bus lines and Brazil’s largest transport operator, joined OSPT™ Alliance this year as an Associate Member. It currently has 13 million active cards in São Paulo and intends over the next few months to start developing new systems of SAM Cards which will incorporate the CIPURSE™ standard.

ITSO Ltd, the organization responsible for the UK national specification for smart ticketing, joined OSPT™ Alliance last year. The CEO of ITSO during that time mentioned that by working with the OSPT™ Alliance, ITSO will be better able to supply its members with a more diverse set of card products, including AES-based products, which is a solution the OSPT™ Alliance can deliver off the shelf in the form of CIPURSE™. ITSO Ltd. is the non-profit distributing organization that oversees the ITSO Specification for smart ticketing in the UK. ITSO helps its members to set up and run ITSO-compliant smart ticketing schemes, tests and certifies smart ticketing equipment to ensure it meets the ITSO standards and ensures the ITSO Specification is up to date and fit for purpose. ITSO operates the ITSO Security Management System (ISMS), a secure key management and distribution system specifically developed to enable ITSO-compliant smart ticketing systems to be set up.

EMONEY GROUP, a builder and operator of modern digital ecosystems for transport and municipal services in the Netherlands, joined the OSPT™ Alliance also last year. Based in Hoofddorp, the Netherlands, EMONEY GROUP is an international company that designs, builds and operates modern digital ecosystems for transport and municipal services, meeting global and local consumer needs and program owners’ expectations by delivering compelling value propositions to all parties concerned: local government institutions, public services, technology providers and service operators. It intends to help create an open framework for new, standards-based automated fare collection solutions, and lending its support to the CIPURSE™ open security standard, which they are adopting as a key component of public transportation and other applications.

Infineon Technologies AG, Neubiberg, Germany, offers semiconductor and system solutions addressing three central challenges to modern society: energy efficiency, mobility, and security. They developed the cards are based on a CIPURSE™-compatible contactless security controller which are now being used in different projects in Brazil. These cards provide a convenient and cashless way to pay for services such as taxi rides or use health care. The Infineon security controller used is the only worldwide solution to support both the open CIPURSE™ standard as well as existing Mifare Classic-compatible systems enabling a smooth migration to future-proof CIPURSE™ systems. For this reason, the chip card industry awarded Infineon with the Sesames Award 2012 for the most innovative product in the transport category.

Oberthur Technologies, a global provider of digital security solutions for the mobility space, has unveiled that PEARL, its embedded secure element (SE), has been CIPURSE™-certified. As a member of the OSPT™ Alliance, Oberthur supports this open standard designed for transport authorities but also open to city services. With PEARL by Oberthur and CIPURSE™ present in the next generation of smartphones, end-users are set to be able to get on and off the train, tram or bus by waving their phone in front of a contactless terminal. Present in the payment, telecommunications and identity markets, Oberthur Technologies provides end-to-end solutions in the smart transactions, mobile financial services, machine-to-machine, digital identity and transport and access control fields. With approximately 50 sales offices across 5 continents and 10 facilities, OT’s international network serves clients in 140 countries.

Can Philippine companies and organizations join the OSPT™ Alliance and use the CIPURSE™ standards? Of course! Some of the participants, from banks to telecommunications, information technology and card manufacturers, to name a few, were actually surprised having not heard of the alliance and open standards in mobility and mobile services, and transit fare collection. Though we are a nation of reinventing the wheel all the time – transit cards, expressway toll systems, rewards cards and many more are almost all unique to each company and do not conform to any single standard, I hope this opens the floodgates for Filipino companies involved in mobility and mobile services, as well as transit fare collections and many other similar applications. Joining a global alliance and using a single standard may wheel the country towards are more secure, cost-effective, flexible and interchangeable fare collection solution for all to use.

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References:

OSTP Alliance website – www.osptalliance.org
Infineon Technologies AG – www.infineon.com
ITSO Ltd. – www.itso.org.uk
Contactless Intelligence – www.contactlessintelligence.com
ATM of Barcelona and Smarting – www.smarting.es
The Paypers – www.thepaypers.com

Title photo from Contactless Intelligence.

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Laurent Cremer, Executive Director for the OSPT™ Alliance, presided over the workshop as its host and moderator. (Photo by Ron Villagonzalo of www.wahpinas.com).


There were more than 60 participants who attended the workshop, many of which were vice presidents and C-level officers. (Photo above and two more below by the author.)


OSPT™ Alliance raffled off the new iPhone 6. Awarding the winner, Rudy Harder of AFCS Inc., are Laurent Cremer (left) and Arabelle Jimenez (right), Consultant and Event Manager for OSPT Alliance Manila Workshop.


Cocktails were served at the Lobby Terrace of The Peninsula Manila after the workshop. Seen here in the photo above are (L-R): Laurent Cremer of OSPT Alliance, Christian Senly of EMoney Ventures, Arabelle Jimenez of OSPT Alliance, Yannick Le Goff of Oberthur Technologies, and Bruno Vergnes of EMoney Group.

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Written by Raffy Pekson II

October 23, 2014 at 3:28 pm

Posted in Business & The Economy, ICT, News & Articles, Transportation

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Philippine Airlines to Double Flights to Canada

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The flag carrier of the Philippines is eyeing to double its frequency of flights to Canada very soon, after the successful conclusion of talks between both countries on air flights. The Philippine panel secured seven additional flight frequencies per week to Canada and Philippine Airlines (PAL) will pursue trying to get all these entitlements with the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB). Once approved, the number of flights per week PAL does between Manila and Canada will double from seven to fourteen.

At present, PAL flies seven times a week to Vancouver and three times a week to Toronto with a stopover in Vancouver.

“With the successful conclusion of the government- to- government air talks, we look forward to flying twice daily to Canada and offering our passengers greater flexibility and choice,” said PAL President and COO Ramon Ang in May of this year.

Source: philippineairlines.com.

Photo from philippineairlines.com.

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The 35th Manila International Book Fair

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The country’s biggest book event is right around the corner: the Manila International Book Fair (MIBF), which heads back to the SMX Convention Center at the SM Mall of Asia Complex, Pasay City on Sept. 17-21, 2014.

Now on its 35th year, the MIBF still remains the country’s biggest and longest-running book fair. It showcases the largest and most varied collection of literature for leisure and academic reading. Everything you need from fiction bestsellers, to textbooks, to graphic novels, and even educational materials are all under one roof. Moreover, the MIBF is also the go-to venue for this year’s most awaited book launches and signings, dialogues with readers, contests, and other literary events.

After three decades, it has evolved from an event for the publishing industry and the academe to one of the most-awaited exhibitions for all sorts of readers. The MIBF has become a gathering of sorts for bookworms of all ages and walks of life to celebrate the joys of reading and the knowledge each book brings about. It has also been providing a venue for the exchange of ideas amongst players in the publishing and academic industry.

Apart from great reads at affordable prices, the MIBF also showcases special events for readers: storytelling sessions, poetry readings, book signings, book launches, literary awards, quiz bee competitions, interactive education, the annual St. Paul National Bible Quiz and many more activities that enrich the reading experience and contribute to the reading awareness of the Filipino public.

For more information, visit www.manilabookfair.com.

Photo from MIBF Facebook Page.

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Note: This is not a paid article/post.

What the Philippines Needs for Inclusive Growth

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What will bring about more inclusive growth in the economy? We need more of our economy’s growth to come from sectoral inclusive growth drivers. And to be an effective driver of inclusive growth, an economic sector must meet two important criteria:

One, the sector must be job-rich or labor-intensive. It must employ large numbers of workers, such that growth in the sector will also translate into similar growth in jobs. A sad commentary to the lack of inclusiveness in our 2013 economic growth is the fact that while the economy grew by a hefty 7.2 percent, the number of jobs actually grew by a mere 0.17 percent then.

Two, the sector must have strong and wide interlinkages with the rest of the domestic economy. That is, it must rely on other domestic industries for its inputs such as raw materials and intermediate goods (backward linkages), or its products must find use as inputs by other domestic industries (forward linkages).

Read the entire article by Cielito F. Habito at The Korea Herald.

Photo by Stephanie Azarias & Alexander Olpindo (Wikipedia Takes Manila participant) – Uploaded from Wikipedia Takes Manila via wikimedia.org.

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A Travel Insurance Every Filipino Can Afford

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When you travel to away from your home, whether it is to the next province, the next island or a foreign destination, it is imperative that your loved ones are financially protected in case something happens to you – accident or otherwise. Even if about 66 percent of Filipinos are mindful of having insurance coverage, half of that actually have insurance coverage, regardless of amount or type. What about the others?

The Philippine Constitution has a section that specifically tells every Filipino that they need to insure themselves for the intereest of their spouse and their children. Section 10 of the Insurance Code of the Philippines defines “insurable interest” as “Every person has an insurable interest in the life and health: of himself, of his spouse and of his children; of any person on whom he depends wholly or in part for education or support, or in whom he has a pecuniary interest; of any person under a legal obligation to him for the payment of money, or respecting property or services, of which death or illness might delay or prevent the performance; and of any person upon whose life any estate or interest vested in him depends.”

Simply said, every Filipino must have a self-interest to protect his family from loss of family income because of an accident or death.

However, not many Filipinos can afford to buy insurance lumped over the course of a decade or more with huge contracted payments. The Philippine national statistics shows that the average family income is less than P20,000 a month for a household of more than 4 family members, and after deducting basic needs expenditure, the actual average savings per family is a paltry P3,500 a month.

I think the introduction of the Pioneer Insurance Travel Buddy is timely given that more than 50 percent of the population are employed or underemployed, and many of them take local and foreign trips from time and time again.

For only P100, you can be insured for P100,000 during 30 days.

Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) can now insure themselves while traveling to their employment destination, on top of what other insurance they have that kicks in but only if they are in the country of their employment.

Filipinos traveling to other countries for a short stay like a vacation know that if they meet an accident, they have P100,000 in accident insurance from Pioneer Insurance to depend on.

Backpackers and budget travelers locally traversing the wonders of the Philippines can be protected in month they are enjoying the sights and sounds of the country.

And P100 is not even 1% of the insurance that can be claimed by you or your beneficiaries should you meet an accident or untimely death.

The benefits of getting the Travel Buddy by Pioneer Insurance are:

  • Loss of life (Php 100,000)
  • Disablement of both hands or both feet or sight of both eyes (Php 100,000)
  • Disablement of one hand and one foot or either hand or foot or sight of one eye (Php 100,000)
  • Disablement of one hand or one foot or sight of one eye (Php 50,000)

The Travel Buddy by Pioneer Insurance is solely available online. To know more about the Travel Buddy, click or visit https://retail.pioneer.com.ph/insureshop.

If you have questions, you may also write on the COMMENTS section located at the bottom of this article/blog.

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Source: Pioneer Facebook | Pioneer Insurance site | insurance.gov.ph | Philippine Census

Images & photos by Pioneer Insurance | user:Ohconfucius via wikipedia.org | Kendii via Facebook.com

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Note: This is not a paid article/blog.