Cassis International


Cassis International is one of the earliest entrants in the gold rush to offer trusted service management services and platforms. Even before there were NFC trials, Cassis was downloading payment applications to phones, starting in 2003 for SK Telecom and the telco’s ill-conceived attempt to use infrared technology to beam payment data from phones to point-of-sale terminals in South Korea.

SKT later moved the m-payment project to contactless and contact miniature credit cards inserted into non-NFC phones and then dual-interface SIMs. So, Cassis is one of the few TSMs, along with Japan’s FeliCa Networks monopoly, with experience downloading payment applications to millions of phones.

But so far, the TSM gold rush hasn’t paid off for anyone and steady work is hard to find for companies to download and manage applications over the air to the small number of NFC phones yet in use.
And Cassis finds itself competing against large rivals, including global smart card vendors Gemalto and Giesecke & Devrient, for the nascent TSM market. Despite that, Cassis has managed to snag one of the few NFC “rollouts,” a term now loosely applied to any project in which NFC phones are put on sale to the general public. That project, called “FastTap,” was launched in April 2009 by Malaysian mobile operator Maxis Communications with Visa Inc., Maybank and transit fare-collection operator Touch 'n Go.

Unfortunately for Cassis, the project hasn’t gotten much beyond the first 3,000 phones, a disappointment attributed as much as anything else to the sole NFC phone available in Maxis stores, the dowdy Nokia 6212.

Cassis, generally considered one of four global TSMs, along with G&D-owned Venyon, Gemalto and Vivotech, has also locked up contracts with Turkish banking card organization BKM and France Telecom arm Orange Business Services. In both of these cases, Cassis will not provide the TSM services itself but will license its OTA platform to BKM and Orange Business Services.

BKM has ambitions to become Turkey’s national TSM and then expand abroad, although it has delayed its multibank, multioperator NFC trial by more than a year.  Orange Business Services will also offer TSM services, though sister company, mobile operator Orange France, will likely go with a local player.

Although Cassis’ founders have roots in smart card vendor Gemplus, now part of France-based Gemalto, Cassis positions itself against its larger rival based on its longer experience downloading m-payment apps and its more nimble operation.

Key NFC Personnel: 
Thian Yee Chua, CEO
Major NFC and Contactless competitors: 

Gemalto, Giesecke & Devrient, Vivotech, Oberthur Technologies

Last Updated: 
Dec 2009


Australian Transit Agency to Launch Mobility-as-a-Service Trial as It Pursues Long-Term MaaS Strategy

Plans by Transport for New South Wales, Australia’s largest transit agency, to launch a trial enabling users to plan, book and pay for multimodal rides is the next step toward the agency’s long-ter

Updated: U.S. Transit Agency Seeks to Reduce–Though Not Eliminate–Cash Acceptance with New Fare-Collection System

Updated: The Spokane Transit Authority in Washington state confirmed that its new fare-collection system will include contactless open-loop payments–with a beta test planned for next October, a spokesman told NFC Times' sister publication Mobility Payments.

UK Government Seeks to Bring London-Style Contactless Fare Payments System to Other Regions

The UK government’s plan to equip 700 rail stations over the next three years to accept contactless open-loop payments is a major initiative, as it seeks to replicate the success of London’s contactless pay-as-you go fare payments system elsewhere in the country–a goal that has proved elusive in the past.

More Cities in Finland Expected to Move to Open-Loop Fare Payments

A fourth city in Finland is beginning to roll out contactless open-loop payments, with “more in the pipeline,” according to one supplier on the project, making the Nordic country one of the latest hotspots for the technology.

Moscow Metro Expands Test of ‘Virtual Troika’ in Pays Wallets, as It Continues to Develop Digital-Payments Services

Moscow Metro is recruiting more users to test its “Virtual Troika” card in two NFC wallets, those supporting Google Pay and Samsung Pay, as one of the world’s largest subway operators continues to seek more ways for its customers to pay for rides.

Ohio Transit Agency Expects Significant Revenue Loss as it Builds Equity with Fare Capping

The Central Ohio Transit Authority, or COTA, officially launched its new digital-payments service Monday, including a fare-capping feature that the agency estimates will cost it $1.8 million per year in lost fare revenue, the agency confirmed to Mobility Payments.

Special Report: Interest Grows in ‘White-Label EMV’ for Closed-Loop Transit Cards

As more transit agencies introduce open-loop fare payments, interest is starting to grow in use of white-label EMV cards that agencies can issue in place of proprietary closed-loop cards for riders who don’t have bank cards or don’t want to use them to pay fares.

Swedish Transit Agency Launches Express Mode Feature for Apple Pay, though Most Ticketing Still with Barcode-Based App

Skånetrafiken, the transit agency serving one of Sweden’s largest counties, announced today it has expanded its contactless open-loop payments service to include the Express Mode feature for Apple Pay.

Major Bus Operators in Hong Kong Now Accepting Open-Loop Payments–Adding More Competition for Octopus

Two more bus operators in Hong Kong on Saturday launched acceptance of open-loop contactless fare payments, with both also accepting QR code-based mobile ticketing–as the near ubiquitous closed-loop Octopus card continues to see more competition.

Moscow Metro Launches Full Rollout of ‘Face Pay;’ Largest Biometric Payments Service of Its Kind

Touting it as the largest rollout of biometric payments in the world, Moscow Metro launched its high-profile “Face Pay” service Friday, as expected, and predicted that 10% to 15% would regularly us

Indonesian Capital Seeks to Expand to Multimodal Fare Collection and MaaS

Indonesia’s capital Jakarta, whose metropolitan area is home to more than 30 million people, is notorious for its stifling traffic congestion. In response, the government metro and light-rail networks and now it is funding an expansion of the fare-collection system to enable more multimodal payments and to build a mobility-as-a-service platform.

Exclusive: NFC Wallets Grow as Share of Contactless Fare Payments and Not Only Because of Covid

Transit agencies that have rolled out open-loop contactless payments are seeing growing use of NFC wallets to pay fares, as Covid-wary passengers see convenience in tapping their phones or wearables to pay.