A multifunctional payments card, incorporating both near field communication (NFC) and debit card functionality, has just been rolled out by Standard Bank’s innovation incubator and business development unit Beyond Payments.
This dual function card has met MasterCard’s requirements and Beyond Payments said in a press statement issued today (17 May 2012) that it “is believed to be a world first in the realm of cashless payment technology.”
Developed to meet the requirements of the National Department of Transport (NDoT), the so-called Muvo card is being debuted in KZN by the eThekwini Municipality and will be used by commuters to pay for their bus fare, Beyond Payments said.
As of 10 May 2012, 1,000 commuters using the PeopleMover bus service in Durban’s city center will load credits onto their Muvo card at kiosks and then tap the card against a card reader upon boarding a bus in order to pay for their ride.
Beyond Payments said that this Pilot phase will be followed by a roll-out to the rest of the 550,000 commuters throughout the eThekwini Municipality region.
The card also incorporates normal MasterCard debit facilities, which means that it can also be swiped at any vendor that accepts debit card payments, Beyond Payments said.
According to Beyond Payments, the main components that afford the cards a broad spectrum of usage are the PayPass application, which allows for tap-n-go payments, and an MChip 4 data chip, which conforms to all MasterCard EMV standards, effectively turning the card into a MasterCard debit card as well.
“The Muvo card is a world first, and showcases a transit ticket sitting inside a banking chip, secured with bank strength security, along with a payment wallet,” said Herman Singh, chief executive officer of Beyond Payments.
“Whilst several flat fee implementations have already been successfully implemented in the market, this solution is notable due to the full use of the NDoT (National Department of Transport) data structure and a fully-fledged electronic card-based ticketing capability,” said a representative of MasterCard.
Beyond Payments piloted its “tap-n-go” NFC payments system at last year’s Oppikoppi music festival. Festival goers could buy food, drinks and festival memorabilia using a special cash card.
Beyond Payments claims that its cashless, closed loop, “tap n go” system eliminated long queues at ATMs and the chance of festival goers’ cash being lost or stolen, while speeding up transactions at the concession stands considerably.
Beyond Payments said that it is working on other NFC projects, including cashless payment mechanisms for university campuses and implementations in high volume, low value sites such as fast food outlets.
Standard Bank is also issuing debit and credit cards that are NFC ready, Beyond Payments said.
According to Beyond Payments, mobile phones with NFC capability will eventually take the place of tap-n-go cards.
“It is inevitable that we will all be using our phones to pay at merchants in the future,” said Singh.
“However it’s important to recognise that this is a journey and not a destination – there will be no big bang launch, but eventually we will see all individuals routinely paying with phones at all merchants on the high street.”