Ecosystem Roles

Our members have identified the following roles as being essential to the operation of a public transport ticketing system:


The Passenger is the end customer of the OMTA solution, who wishes to travel via public Transport Networks offered by the Public Service Provider (PSP) using the Phone as a ticketing credential. The Passenger registers for the ticketing service with the Service Provider. The Service Provider may use a well-known and trusted Identity Service Provider (IDSP), with whom the Passenger already has a relationship, for authenticating and identifying the Passenger. As a result of the registration, an Account will be created for the Passenger with the Service Provider that includes the personal details of the Passenger required for billing purposes as well as the Passenger’s Funding Source for fare payments.

The Funding Source

The Funding Source is the entity through which the Passenger wants to finance Journeys. The Funding Source could be for example a credit card, a bank account, a stored-value account, mobile network operator billing or PayPal. The Passenger is responsible for ensuring that the Funding Source is valid and has sufficient funds or credit for covering the Passenger’s Journey(s). As part of the registration process, the Service Provider verifies the Passenger’s Funding Source and adds valid ticketing credentials to the Passenger’s Phone. The Service Provider may later revoke the Passenger’s Certificate if the Funding Source has become invalid and cannot be successfully charged.

Open Mobile Ticketing Service Provider (Service Provider)

The Service Provider acts as an intermediate between the Passenger and the PTO, removing the complexity and cost of managing financial transactions from the PTO. The Service Provider manages all Accounts and issues ticketing credentials for the Passengers. The Service Provider also ensures validity of the Passenger’s Funding Source. The Service Provider collects Tap Records (ticketing events) for each Passenger, and, based on the fare rules of the PTO, the Service Provider calculates billing records and sends those to a PSP for processing. Depending on the level of contract between the Service Provider and PTO, the Service Provider may take care of all fare calculations on behalf of the PTO. Alternatively, the PTO may want to handle the fare calculations itself.

Public Transport Organization (PTO)

The PTO is responsible for providing the Transport Networks in a certain city or region. The PTO authorizes the Service Provider to manage Passenger acquisition and billing processes according to the fare rules set by the PTO. The PTO trusts the Service Provider to ensure that the PTO receives correct funds for Journeys consumed by Passengers. Thus, the PTO does not need to be involved in setting up the processes for financial transactions directly with the Passengers or their Funding Sources.

Identity Service Provider (IDSP)

The IDSP is a well-known and trusted entity with whom the Passenger already has a relationship, i.e., the Passenger is known by the IDSP. During the registration process, Passengers may use their existing IDSP account information to authenticate and identify themself with the Service Provider. Thus, the IDSP may share the Passenger’s particulars (as necessary and as authorized by the Passenger) with the Service Provider. A few examples of potential IDSPs are Google, Yahoo, Facebook and Microsoft. The interface to the IDSP is not part of the OMTA specification family.

Payment Service Provider (PSP)

The PSP is an entity whose responsibility is to process financial transactions. The PSP charges the Passenger’s Funding Source and credits the PTO’s financial account according to the billing records it receives from the Service Provider.

It is essential that these roles be well defined so that each participant has clear responsibilities and benefits in the operation of the system.