20 July 2012
Standard Bank South Africa's Muvo card brings cutting edge technology to bus system
The introduction of the MasterCard Muvo card in Durban will herald the beginning
of the end of carrying cash for bus fare in South Africa.
Commuters using People Mover and Durban Transport buses throughout Ethekwini municipality
in KwaZulu-Natal province will use the card to pay their fare. The card is powered
by Standard Bank South Africa and introduced through its innovation arm Beyond Payments
and transport IT specialistAlmex.
The card is an anonymous debit MasterCard that is coupled with the National Department
of Transport's specified ticketing solution. It is also prefunded and reloadable,
and can be used as a standard EMV MasterCard, as well as in a contactless environment
enabled though the MasterCard PayPass™ contactless technology.
The launch follows the successful pilot phase of the MasterCard Muvo card on the
inner city fleet of People Movers, in which buses were fitted out with electronic
ticketing devices and the contactless payment cards were issued to commuters. Kiosks
were set up along Durban's inner city bus route, where funds could be loaded onto
the cards. Commuters then either paid for their bus trips by tapping their card
against the electronic ticketing device installed on the buses, or presented payment
for their ticket in the same manner as before.
The ticketing devices are now being installed in all buses in Ethekwini and 50 000
MasterCard Muvo cards will be issued to commuters, free of charge, over the next
two months. Commuters can load funds into their cards at 20 fixed sales points located
in the city, or they can do so in one of 14 Muvo vans that will operate along the
This is believed to be the first time that transit tickets are hosted inside a banking
application on an EMV contactless card, and the first time that a card of this nature
has been deployed in South Africa in full compliance with the National Department
of Transport's regulations. This combination of card and service platforms currently
offers services across a multiplicity of transit fleet operators with more than
200 differenttravel product options.
This solution differs to payment cards that are used to purchase tickets for each
trip in that it stores tickets of different types, such as scholar or pensioner
tickets, or tickets for different routes and journeys.
National Department of Transport compliance also allows for the system, developed
by Beyond Payments, MasterCard and Almex, to be adopted by any municipality. "The
integration of a fare management system on the card is key and takes banks into
a new space in value added services," says Mike Hughes, Business Development Manager
of Beyond Payments.
"Many of Beyond Payments' products offer alternative payment mechanisms designed
to relieve consumers of the need to carry cash. The MasterCard Muvo card is a particularly
"The card also allows for employers and parents to load their employees' and children's
cards remotely. In addition, the light FICA limits mean that even though the cards
are anonymous, there are solutions in place to replace cards in the event of theft
or loss," he added.
Security features incorporated into the MasterCard Muvo card are in-line with international
standards. The contactless functionality, for example, eliminates the need for a
magnetic stripe, which helps prevent card cloning. Fraudulent transactions facilitated
by these techniques are estimated to run into the hundreds of millions of rands
annually. The system also complies with Payment Association of South Africa (PASA)
requirements, which govern inter-bank transfers.
According to Hughes, the most significant achievement of the MasterCard Muvo card
is that it is an entry into the banking environment forSouth Africa's unbanked population.
With no monthly charges, the card offers a new level of security and convenience
for citizens who choose to use it as their primary carrier for banking services.
The fact that the card can be accepted by merchants displaying the MasterCard or
the MasterCard PayPass™ logos extends this financial inclusion further, as cardholders
are able to make purchases with the card beyond the transit and contactless environments.
Up to R3 000 can be loaded onto The MasterCard Muvo card in one month, and it can
carry a maximum balance of R1 500. The maximum payment per transaction is R200.
These are referred to as Exemption 15 limits in terms of the Financial Intelligence
Centre Act (FICA) and allow for the cards to be issued anonymously.
Commenting on MasterCard's involvement in theeThekwini project, Dries Zietsman,
country manager, South Africa, MasterCard Worldwide, says: "MasterCard is currently
leading the introduction of contactless payments in the transit and retail environments
in South Africa, using MasterCard PayPass™, the technology behind the MasterCard
Cash brand that will appear on the Muvo cards."
MasterCard PayPass™ technology is ideal for quick payment environments where
speed is essential, such as transit, quick serve restaurants, petrol stations, supermarkets
and movie theatres. Consumers can simply tap their MasterCard PayPass™-enabled card
or device on a transit or retail MasterCard PayPass™ terminal, and the transaction
"The developments of the MasterCard Muvo card reinforces Standard Bank's position
as the leader in relevant banking innovation in Africa," said Hughes, "coming on
the back of Standard Bank's highly successful prepaid voucher-based money transfersolutions
(including Instant Money), Nigerian mobile payments license, the Lagos Petty Trader
SME banking solution, its 10 000 bank shop rollout, and advances in operating the
world first cashless powered rock festival at Oppikoppi last year," says Hughes.
"These solutions have helped deliver solidly practical, simple, and compelling customer
value propositions to drive financial Inclusion on the continent, and have often
been world firsts," he says.