The card is seen as a vital part of the £288million upgrade of the underground system which will result in driverless trains.
SPT staff were today in stations handing out registration packs and offering gifts of "Get Smart" pens and chocolate cookies.
People can either fill out a form and post it with a photograph or register online attaching a passport style picture.
The new card, which is free, will take around 10 days to process but can be used right away.
Passengers will at first have to go to Subway stations to put cash up to the value of £50 on their cards.
The intelligent ticket system will automatically give passengers the best travel deal. Subway staff will also be able to upload seven and 28 day tickets.
But in the New Year it will be possible to top up the card with cash or season tickets online or on the move from a mobile phone or tablet computer.
If a traveller loses his or her smartcard, the outstanding credit can be transferred to a new card.
Disposable paper tickets for single and return trips will still be available but they are likely to cost more from January in a bid to persuade commuters to switch to the new smartcard.
Children under 16 can apply for their own smartcard. They will need to have proof of age and SPT will accept either a birth certificate, passport or Young Scot Card/Kidz Card. Cards will have to be collected in person from Buchanan Bus Station or St Enoch Travel Centres.
Children under the age of five will travel for free when with an adult.
Existing season ticket holders will be offered a smartcard once their current ticket expires. Passengers will have to tap the smartcard on new gates at the Subway stations to enter the system.
One of the biggest changes they will encounter is having to tap their card on the gate to exit. Previously tickets were not required at exit barriers.
Right now, around 13.5million journeys are made on the Subway each year. But because of how the present ticket system operates, SPT does not know how many people use the network.
And while the transport body knows which station people use to start their journey, they do not know where they get off. The new smartcard will answer those questions and allow for special fare deals to be introduced.
SPT says an added benefit is that it will be able to vary fares quickly and react to customer needs and business requirements such as introducing more trains into the system at busy periods.
And it believes being able to top up the card with cash and simply tap it on the new gate to enter the system will cut down on lengthy queues at ticket offices.
Unlike London's Oyster Card, the Glasgow card can only be used on the Subway as buses in Scotland are not regulated. But SPT are in discussions with bus companies in the hope they will sign up to the new system.
The Subway operator has come in for criticism about the underground closing before midnight during the week and at 6pm on Sundays. It says no changes to opening hours can be made while the upgrade is being carried out but it is hoping to be able to extend opening hours once work is complete.
SPT chairman Jim Coleman said: "You only have to look at how successful smartcards have been worldwide in encouraging people on to public transport.
"This is a great step in the right direction and by introducing smart technology on the Subway first, it will hopefully prove to other operators that a simple, fully-flexible cashless ticket will not only reduce journey times but also get more people to use the system."