ABSA Bank to Launch Dual Prepaid Smart Card Program

Oberthur Technologies, a business specializing in secure technologies, has been selected by South Africa’s ABSA Bank as the supplier of the first dual prepaid smart card in South Africa. The offering is a prepaid debit MasterCard called PayPass.

According to Oberthur and ABSA Bank, the card is currently in the pilot phase and a full rollout will be executed in early 2011. The launch of this dual-interface payment technology, to enable both contact and contactless payment transactions, is claimed by the partnership to be the first on the African continent. Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Canada already use dual interface cards.

The design of PayPass is intended to increase convenience and speed for consumers in retail outlets, while giving the merchants the benefit of faster till points at the register and a secure alternative to cash. The card can also be used for tokens in South Africa’s new integrated transport system.

The South African Rand replaced the Pound as the base legal tender in 1961. By using cash or directly from a bank account, customers can load Rand onto PayPass at a POS terminal, transit kiosk, online or an ATM. The card balance limit is R1500 (USD$210) at any time and a maximum of R3000 ($420) may be loaded on the card per month. The transaction limit is R200 ($28) and PayPass can also be made available to customers without an ABSA account.

Julia Schoonenberg, Payment Business Director for Russia, Middle East and Africa, Card Systems Division of Oberthur Technologies was quoted:

“We are especially proud to participate in the deployment of the new prepaid MasterCard from ABSA Bank. This card is the first of its kind in South Africa and demonstrates the commitment of both ABSA Bank and Oberthur Technologies to innovation by providing new solutions, which benefit the daily lives of ABSA’s customers.”

Oberthur claims to be the world’s second largest provider of security and identification solutions and services based on smart card technologies for mobile, payment, transport, digital TV and convergence markets. For more info, please visit: www.oberthur.com. For more information regarding ABSA Bank click here.

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