Smartcard boosts Durban bus system

26 July 2012

Commuters on People Mover and Durban Transport buses throughout KwaZulu-Natal are now able to buy their bus tickets with a smartcard – offsetting the need to carry cash – following the launch of the Muvo Mastercard in Durban on Monday.

The card is powered by Standard Bank South Africa and was introduced through its innovation arm, Beyond Payments, and transport IT specialist Almex.

Transport Department compliance also allows for the system to be adopted by any municipality.

“The launch follow[ed] 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,” Standard Bank said in a statement.

Kiosks were set up along Durban’s inner city bus route, where funds could be loaded onto the cards and commuters could for their bus trips by tapping their card against the electronic ticketing device installed on the buses.

The ticketing devices are now being installed in all buses in Durban/Ethekwini, and 50 000 Muvo cards will be issued to commuters, free of charge, over the next two months.

Commuters will be able to load funds into their cards at 20 fixed sales points located in the city, or in one of 14 Muvo vans that will operate along the various routes.

The card stores tickets of different types – such as scholar or pensioner tickets – or tickets for different routes and journeys.

“The integration of a fare management system on the card is key and takes banks into a new space in value-added services,” said business development manager of Beyond Payments, Mike Hughes.

“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.

According to Hughes, the most significant achievement of the Muvo card is that it is an entry into the banking environment for South 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.”

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.

SAinfo reporter