Tokyu Corporation Adopts Authlete to Build Identity and Authentication Infrastructure for Digital Ticketing Service

Authlete was selected by the Tokyu Group, which serves 1 billion railway passengers annually, to help its in-house engineering team build an OpenID Connect service for its digital platform

We are pleased to announce that Tokyu Corporation, Inc. has chosen Authlete.

Tokyu Corporation, which celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2022, has continued to grow by anticipating various environmental changes and creating new value for its customers as a “community development” company focusing primarily on its railway lines. About 5.5 million people live along the Tokyu Railway lines, with approximately 1 billion rail passengers per year, and more than 200 group companies are engaged in a variety of businesses, including lifestyle services and hotels, with transportation and real estate at the core. In July 2021, a new organization “URBAN HACKS” was established to promote digital transformation (DX) in urban development.

They have adopted Authlete to build an identity and authentication infrastructure of Q SKIP, a new digital ticketing service that allows passengers to pass through station gates using contactless payment of credit cards as well as QR codes. They aim to provide new customer experience by extending the Authlete-based capability to other Tokyu Railway services and its group companies, as TOKYU ID - a unified identity system for Tokyu Group’s customers, and for various services of the affiliated companies to federate and collaborate with each other.

Sean Miyazawa, VPoE and Project Owner of URBAN HACKS, Tokyu Corporation, said the following:

The identity and authentication infrastructure was designed primarily for Q SKIP, but we envisioned broader use cases that included other services. To make this vision a reality, we had to address two conflicting requirements: customizability for the user experience of authentication and authorization, and implementing a secure standard protocol properly.

The authentication and authorization experience varies by business characteristics and customer demographics. The challenge was to migrate an existing authentication system to the new one, while maintaining the most sophisticated experience for each business and customer. Another key infrastructure requirement was security, so we decided to use a proven standard protocol.

We selected Authlete as the solution for the above requirements. Authlete manages protocol operations and token management in an OAuth/OIDC compliant manner on our behalf, relieving us of the burden of implementing and operating standard specifications and keeping track of ongoing specification updates. In addition, Authlete doesn’t impose any restrictions on customer repositories and user interfaces because it exposes all functionality as APIs. This allows us to focus on the user experience, which is what URBAN HACKS and its development resources are committed to.

As a result, we have successfully developed the identity and authentication service that meets the requirements of customizability of the user experience for authentication and authorization and implementation of a secure standard protocol in a short time and with minimal development resources.

We will make our authentication and authorization experience more secure and convenient, and expand the infrastructure to various services as the entire Tokyu Group’s touchpoint for engaging with our customers.

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