Octopus Card Case Study

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Introduction Octopus Cards Limited introduced a contact-less smart-card based electronic cash (e-cash) system – the Octopus System. It was originally intended to provide a quick and easy way to pay fares on public transits in Hong Kong. Over the past few years, Octopus has significantly extended its range of applications. Cardholders can use Octopus to make payments at stores and restaurants, gain access to buildings and schools or identify themselves. In 2002, the Asia Pacific Smart Card Association reported that 95% of the “economically active population” was using the Octopus card. Travelers have found that the card provides increased convenience, allowing them to pass through fare collection points 15 to 20% faster, according to Octopus card statistics. The scheme has succeeded because it offers real convenience to cardholders. Whether a smart card is a contactless one can be critical to its success. All smart transport-ticketing systems share one crucial requirement – contactless. Contactless is important due to a number of reasons. First, user flow rate can be as high as one million or more per day (averaging 19 users per second). During peak…show more content…
The system consists of a tag, reader, and central computers at the back-end. Stored on every tag are an ID and a unique key for authentication and encryption purposes. Other information is stored in the central computers for greater security. Speedpass is ISO 14443 compliant as with most RFID payment systems. When a tag is brought into proximity of a reader, the one-way authentication process will be initiated. From this point on, every data transmission is encrypted with a 40-bit encryption key. The encryption algorithm is kept secret by the company, which violates the security principle of open design. After the reader validates the identity of the tag, it then communicates with the back-end to determine further instructions to be
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