A new electronic ticketing solution was officially launched in KwaZulu-Natal on Friday, offering commuters using People Mover and Durban Transport buses throughout eThekwini as cashless experience.
KwaZulu-Natal Transport member of the executive council Willies Mchunu, who presided over the function, said the deployment of the MasterCard Muvo card formed part of the city’s plans for integrated rapid public transport networks.
The card is supported by Standard Bank and has been delivered by its innovation arm Beyond Payments and transport information technology specialist Almex Transport Solutions.
It uses Mastercard's preauthorised debit solution and has been coupled with the Department of Transport's specified ticketing solution. Ticketing devices are now being installed in city buses.
Some 50 000 Muvo cards would be distributed to commuters, free of charge, over the next two months.
The launch follows the successful piloting of the card in May and June on the city's People Mover buses, which were fitted with electronic ticketing devices.
During the trial, contactless payment cards were issued to commuters and kiosks were set up along Durban’s innercity bus route, where funds could be loaded onto the cards.
"In time, the smartcard will be usable across all modes of public transport, from buses to trains to taxis," Mchunu said.
Cards would be valid for three years and should improve commuter security.
Beyond Payments business development manager Mike Hughes says the company aims to roll out one-million smartcards by the end of the year.
"For millions of poor South Africans this will be the first access to a banking product,” he added.