A new pay card

Absa Bank has launched a new way to pay for small, daily purchases and transactions - the Prepaid MasterCard with a PayPass.

Using chip card technology, the card is designed to provide consumers with speed convenience at the point of sale, while offering retailers the benefit of faster till points.

Customers can load money on to their card from a bank account or cash, using either a point-of-sale, transit kiosk, Internet banking or an ATM.

Without swiping or the need to enter a PIN code, customers just tap the card against a reader and the transaction is processed in seconds.

The balance on the card may never be more than R1500 at any time and the total of no more than R3000 a month may be loaded on the card.

Each transaction will be limited to R200 or less and customers without an Absa account can also acquire it.

Absa general manager of consumer issues Simon Just said that transactional charges on the card were yet to be finalised.

He said the card was designed to be utilised in the new integrated transport system, which will soon be implemented by the Department of Transport.

In the new system, commuters will use one card to pay for bus, rail and taxi fares. "Absa and its consortium are already working to deliver a low-value payment solution for the City of Joburg's Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system," said Just.

To get the card, you simply submit your cellphone and ID numbers at any Absa branch.

But the card has its own disadvantages. Anyone can use it because it does no use a pin code.

"You must keep your card safe. If you lose it, you must report it immediately and the card can be blocked when someone tries to load money," he said.

The card is being piloted but will be rolled out early next year.