Smart tickets are disposable or of limited use such as one day transit. Most work with existing smart card infrastructure but not venue tickets. Smart tickets were first launched in 2001, at 30 - 40 cents each. They typically hold 256 bits or more of data to reflect the extravagant use of memory by the transport industry. After all, the old magnetic stripes on tickets can hold kilobits of data so there has been no need to be efficient in use of data. With simple data compression techniques, most applications of smart tickets could get by with only 64 bits of data. Costs of the smart tickets could be further reduced just from this action.
Smart tickets are memory-only versions of smart cards with cheaper, more primitive outer protection. They are used for road tolling but the biggest use is in bus and train ticketing where the existing smart card readers at barriers read even the one-trip smart ticket thus eliminating queuing and providing much lower cost over life of the ticketing system (magnetic stripe readers are more expensive and less reliable). About 20 million are being delivered in 2004 at 20 - 30 cents each, mainly for transport in Spain.
Smart tickets are the size of credit cards but thinner, being made out of paper or paper/plastic laminate. Use of a basic chip precludes multiple service providers using securely segmented data on the chip. Processing of data and live encryption is not available on the chip but all this keeps the ticket price down to less than one twentieth off that of a true smart card. Like the smart cards it works alongside, the smart ticket works to ISO "Proximity" standards at a few centimetres range and 13.56 MHz and its value can be remotely rewritten as it is used. The manufacturers see smart tickets dropping to ten cents each as hundreds of millions are used. Paris RATP bus/train system needs 100 million yearly and this organisation believes price will drop to 5 cents eventually. The Emilia Romagna region of Italy may buy 50 million yearly and Venice needs 20 million yearly, so the volumes are there.