Bull signed contracts Friday to deliver more than 200,000 smart cards to the Belgian football league to tackle football hooliganism, with the blessing of the Belgian government. To improve safety inside stadiums, all fans will have their own smart card and PIN. The card will also have to be shown when fans buy tickets for certain games. The Belgian government last year banned ticket sales on match days for high-risk games to avoid dense crowds at turnstiles. Initially the smart card with a chip and 1KB memory will only be used as a means of authenticating fans when they buy tickets, however the program may be expanded to offer other payment and loyalty functions. Sponsors for the program include Canal+, the pay TV company, FINA, the petroleum company and Jupiler, the brewers.
Bull announced Friday that it will provide smart cards for all supporters of football teams in Belgium. The project aims to tackle football hooliganism and is an initiative of the Belgian football league, with the backing of the government.
To improve safety inside stadiums, all fans will have their own smart card and PIN. The card will have to be shown when fans buy tickets for matches or during controls. 200,000 fans concerned by the Bull smart card
To combat football hooliganism, the Belgian government last year banned ticket sales on match days for high-risk games to avoid dense crowds gathering at the turnstiles, with no effective way of spotting trouble-makers.
This is why the Belgian football league, which represents 18 First Division clubs and six Second Division clubs, has taken the decision to provide smart cards for some 200,000 football fans. Highly personalized, these smart cards bear the holder’s name and have an associated PIN. Fans will have to present their smart card and enter their PIN when reserving and buying tickets for matches. Tickets will go on sale at the grounds and in different external sales points away from the stadiums.
Card holders will be legally responsible for their smart cards, which cannot be lent or given to anyone else. Each smart card will entitle its owner to one ticket per match. Trouble-makers will see their smart cards refused or disabled. The system is planned to kick-off this August.
Initially, the smart card with a chip and 1KB memory will only be used as a means of authenticating fans when they buy tickets. Bar-coded tickets will continue to be issued for each seat reservation, though in the mid-term, they will no longer be necessary since the reservations will be stored in the smart card memory and read by the card readers located at the grounds.
Football supporters will be able to buy tickets for the matches of their own team as well as for other teams’ games. For example, at Anderlecht, fans will be able to buy tickets – even well in advance – for the game between Beveren and Standard. This service is possible because all the servers will be interconnected – the Anderlecht server will contact the Beveren server in real-time . Depending on ticket availability, this server will then allocate a ticket to the card holder for the Beveren home game against Standard.
Sponsors and loyalty programme
Sponsors for this program include CANAL+, the pay TV company, FINA, the petroleum company and JUPILER, the brewers. For the last sponsor, this means that the many cafes selling this beer will be potential ticket sales points. FINA, on the other hand, intends to use the football fan card as an extension to its own loyalty program.
“This innovative application highlights both smart card versatility and its increasing acceptance and use in everyday life. It also demonstrates yet again that when the market wants to solve a security related problem, it consults Bull first,” said David Levy, managing director, Bull Smart Cards & Terminals.
About Bull’s Smart Cards and Terminals activities
Bull designs and markets a wide range of contact and contactless micro-processor cards, and also electronic payment terminals and automatic points of contact including cash dispensers and multimedia kiosk POS terminals. In 1997, these activities generated revenue of $237 million, an increase of 32% over 1996.
The history of smart cards at Bull goes back to 1979 when Bull’s Michel Ugon, in collaboration with Motorola, invented the world’s first micro-processor card (CP8 technology). Today, all micro-processor cards worldwide still use Bull CP8 technology for the micro-electronic part (SPOM – Self-Programmable One chip Microprocessor) patent. As far as applications are concerned, 210 million micro-processor cards use CP8 technology, either as patents or operating systems.
Bull is world leader in the electronic purse segment with more than 27 million cards in use in ten countries. Approximately 60% of bank cards used in the world today have been designed by Bull. Bull is also a leader in electronic payment terminals, with 650,000 machines installed worldwide.
More information on these activities can be found on the Web site http://www.cp8.bull.net. You can also visit Groupe Bull’s site at http://www.bull.com