Technological basics

- Fare-Collection-Systems

Basics about IDBT, Open-loop & Pay-As-You-Go


ID-based ticketing technology (IDBT), also known as account-based ticketing (ABT), completely reverses the previous ticket processing. Previously, the fare logic and travel rights were stored on the ticket or smart card. The knowledge about the fares, the available ticket types, etc. was implemented in the field devices such as the ticket machine and the cash register. With IDBT, this logic is completely transferred to the background system. When using public transport, only a unique identification of the passenger is sent to the background system, where the fare calculation and billing is done.


Open-loop means that a contactless card system is used which is open to every consumer worldwide and is not limited to use in public transport. This typically includes contactless credit cards such as Visa, Mastercard, American Express and also debit cards like V-Pay and Maestro. Up to now, public transport has mainly used so-called closed-loop systems in which the contactless media are issued to a closed circle of users for a limited purpose, such as PRESTO card.


Pay-As-You-Go (PAYG) is an accounting procedure in public transport where the passenger uses the public transport and then the system creates the trip, calculates the valid fare according to the tariff and settles the costs due. A major advantage is that the passenger does not have to deal with tariff structures and product variants before the journey begins, but can simply use the transport service and then pay the corresponding price.