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Secure and transferable e-tickets

Country of Origin: Spain
Reference Number: TOES20170921002
Publication Date: 21 September 2017


A new and innovative electronic tickets system has been developed jointly by researchers of two Spanish universities. It is based upon a technology that uses mobile devices as a communication platform among sellers and buyers. The e-Ttcket is secure and efficient and provides an alternative solution to the use of classic paper tickets. Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) providers, specialized in the e-ticketing field are being sought for a license agreement.


The use of Information Technologies (IT) in the day-by-day operations is growing dramatically. Nowadays, it is possible to perform a lot of actions at home and there are not temporal restrictions. The electronic tickets are an example; people can buy a transport ticket or a movie ticket. In this sense, the smart-phones are a key element because users can buy the e-ticket from any place and can carry tickets while they are moving, and validate them in order to get access to the service . Moreover, the e-ticketing systems must offer the same properties of the paper tickets, i.e. they must be secure, anonymous and transferable.

This solution uses cryptographic techniques in order to achieve the main security requirements for the system. Group signatures enable the users of a certain group to sign as a group member without need to reveal the real identity. This feature can give anonymity to the users of a system that could adopt this cryptographic primitive. However, the bad use of this group signature scheme should be penalized. To achieve so, revocable group signatures could be used and then a trusted authority (e.g. police or security forces) could have the right to revoke a determined group signature and adopt the considered actions. This way, if a ticket has been transferred and somebody misbehaved, a trusted authority could identify which is the part of the chain that misbehaved and identify him/her.

The scheme has also been thought to be used in mobile devices in order to make it really practical either for users and entities of the system. In this direction, the use of the mobile devices as a smartcard in order to perform secure transactions is a trend that is more used recently. Near Field Communication is a communication technology which this solution could adopt to be used in a real system with mobile devices, and where the tickets could be stored in. However, the system can be deployed without the NFC technology.

The e-ticketing system proposed can be used in different services, so that service providers can adapt the system in order to meet their requirements. The system provides to the users the same properties of the paper tickets. The tickets are anonymous and users can transfer them between them without the interaction of the ticket issuer or the provider.

The method has been developed by researchers of two Spanish universitites, specialized in cryptographic systems. ICT providers specialized in the field of the electronic ticketing are beeing sought for a license agreement.

Advantages and Innovations

It is configurable and can be used in different services.

The system can be deployed in the cloud for the service providers. The users can use their smart-phones to obtain, use or transfer the e-tickets.

The system offers the same properties of the paper tickets and the benefits of the e-tickets. For example, customers are able to book everywhere, even without a printer.

Tickets can be bought and used immediately.

The system allows easier and faster communication between the customers and the company. Companies save resources and speed up the management process.

Moreover, the solution is practical, either for users and entities. That gives a commercial advantage in comparison to other solutions, because security has been considered an essential part of the system. For example, the anonymity for users enables the acceptance of the system to be in a high ratio.

Finally, the transferability of the tickets between users until its use, assuring that any misbehaviour could be identified and penalised if needed.

Stage Of Development

Field tested/evaluated

Requested partner

Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) providers, specialized in the e-ticketing field are being sought for a license agreement in order to improve the actual e-tickets with new features based on the technology. 

The main applications of the e-ticket are: electronic commerce, transportation and logistics systems, tourism applications, sport and leisure events, access control systems or mobile applications.

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