City-Wide Smart Card Program Initiated In Curitiba, Brazil
More than 1.5 million citizens use Schlumberger contact/contactless smart cards and terminals for government ID, building access, bus service, and commercial business transactions.
Curitiba, located in southern Brazil, is renowned throughout Brazil for its public service initiatives. These initiatives, designed to improve the quality of life of Curitiba's citizens, include bus service and comprehensive libraries. Now the city is preparing to take a large step toward making the lifestyles of its citizens even better. Curitiba's leaders have chosen a smart card application from Schlumberger Smart Cards & Terminals.
First Phase: 30,000 Municipal Employee IDs Issued
In the first phase of the project, 30,000 municipal employees will be issued smart cards which will serve several functions. Employees will use them as a local government ID and access card, a payment card for selected retailers, and a passport to preferential services with a participating bank.
These applications will be followed by electronic ticketing for local bus services, which will operate in contactless, "walk-by" mode. Starting in 1999, the program will be extended to the families of the municipal employees, and then to the entire population of Curitiba.
Smart Cards To Expand Into City's Commercial Business Transactions
To kick-start the project, the city administration is partnering with certain private companies on a multi-application card which will combine local government and commercial functions. The administration enlisted four commercial sponsors to help fund development of the smart card application. These include a supermarket, (Supermercado Coletao), two drug stores, (Minerva and Drogamed) and a bank, (Parana Bank). The bank will offer card holders preferential rates on financial services and credit payment for goods bought at the three retailers. The credit is then debited against the card holders' salary at the end of the month.
Smart Cards Benefit Everyone: Businesses, Consumers & Government
"Our objective is to give every citizen of Curitiba a card, so that public services will be available in a quick and efficient manner," stated Cassio Taniguchi, Curitiba's mayor. "By supporting a common smart card, we will also reduce costs and speed the development of Curitiba's infrastructure. This will help to make major improvements in the quality of life for our community."
The Technology Behind The Card Installation
This project is being made possible by the Schlumberger Easyflex™ smart card. Easyflex combines conventional contact-based transactions requiring a card reader with contactless operation in a single smart card chip. The card also features Schlumberger's new operating system, FastOS™, which enables the wireless and contact-based transactions to run side-by-side.
"Curitiba's leaders have been quick to grasp the potential of smart cards," notes Jonas Andersson, business segment director, Transport and Access Control, Schlumberger Smart Cards & Terminals. "Their support for a universal smart card will help make Curitiba one of the most efficient cities in the world."
Applications For Smart Cards Will Expand In The Future
Applications are initially based on conventional contact transactions. Late in 1998, local bus operators will introduce contactless smart ticketing, and the entire city will begin using dual-interface Easyflex cards. Further extensions to the program are then planned for contactless access control, healthcare, pre-payment and network access applications.