In an effort to facilitate ticket purchasing, SNCF -- France's public rail system -- will commence a 1,000 user trial of its Weneo smart card system this Fall. Riders will be able to purchase tickets with the small USB dongles at turnstiles via RFID. Once the balance is depleted, users can refill their accounts by plugging the devices into a computer, whereby they're transported to the SNCF's online hub. Since only the rider's account number is stored in the RFID portion of the smart card, this system allows commuters hassle-free ticket purchasing, all while keeping important information privy from hackers - information that some RFID devices seem to have problems keeping secret. If all goes well, SNCF expects to expand the use of Weneo nationwide by 2010.

[Via Wired]

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French public rail trials RFID / USB combo ticket system