Aberdeen City Council will roll out one of the first fully-fledged smartcard schemes in the UK this summer.
The Accord card will have multiple applications and will enable users to obtain locally-funded services such as free school meals, the council said. In addition, the Accord card will be used on public transport, in libraries, for car parking, to access leisure centres and as a substitute for cash at local retailers.
The variety of applications available on the cards is vital to the scheme's success, believes Richard Poynder, executive adviser to the council. "This scheme doesn't just rely on an e-purse." he explained. "Previous smartcard schemes have failed because there hasn't been a reason to use them. These cards have seven or eight other functions."
Anyone who works or lives in Aberdeen will be eligible to own a card, which may carry a cost of £5. The council is reserving the right to give them away or subsidise them.
Following a one-year trial using Schlumberger cards, the Aberdeen Council decided to implement the scheme city-wide. It will use dual interface - both contact and contactless - cards with 8Kbytes of EEPRom memory.