Standard Bank has launched a contactless card system enabling all Gold and Titanium credit and cheque card holders to make payments via the “tap and go” method, rather than swiping or inserting cards.
Sugendhree Reddy, head of personal markets at Standard Bank South Africa said: “The new ‘tap and go’ cards are linked to a customer’s bank account, allowing for funds to be deducted directly from their account. Unlike many systems currently available, customers don’t have to pre-load cards with money to use this method of payment.”
The cards carry the MasterCard PayPass logo and have antennas imbedded in them. The antenna allows customers to pay at point-of-sale devices displaying the same Paypass logo as their card by simply tapping the card to the terminal.
Customers do not need to give the card to the cashier, enter a PIN or sign a slip for payments under R200. To ensure security, a PIN will be required for bigger amounts.
“The cards improve customer convenience, with shorter payment times, and remove the need to withdraw cash. Security is also improved as a customer keeps their card with them rather than handing it to someone else,” said Reddy.
The new cards will be rolled out automatically to new Standard Bank cheque and credit card customers. Current Standard Bank customers will also receive the new cards as and when their current cards are due for renewal. The annual fee for the contactless cards remains the same as for current cheque and credit cards.
Paying via the tap and go method will count as an electronic transaction, the cost of which is bundled into banking packages offered by Standard Bank. The cards will also function as per the usual swiping or inserting method, and are valid for five years.
“Standard Bank will also roll out this functionality on debit cards, and through Visa, in 2013,” said Reddy.
“Standard Bank anticipates that the wider availability of these cards in the South African market will drive the tap and go method as a more common system of payment locally.”