By Ashleigh Brown, journalist, Justmoney
Several bus companies have introduced MasterCard payment systems for their customers in a bid to end the need of carrying cash to purchase a ticket. The companies believe the cards will make it more convenient for customers and help with their safety.
So far there are three different MasterCard transport cards: the MyCiti card in Cape Town, The Muvo in Durban, and the Rea Vaya in Johannesburg.
Each card works with contactless functionality which eliminates the need for magnetic strips. This helps to prevent card cloning, as some of the cards – the Muvo and Rea Vaya cards – can be used at selected stores to pay for goods.
These cards are also ‘anonymous cards’. That means that there are no sign-ups, or paper work required to use the cards. The owner’s name, therefore, is not attached to the card in any way.
The first MyCiti buses were introduced in 2010 with the airport shuttle bus, and the Inner-City Loop. Earlier this year, 106 new MyCiti buses were launched, operating on more routes around Cape Town, servicing Khayelitsha and Mitchell’s Plain.
The MyCiti buses work on the contactless function, so no swiping is needed when passengers get on or off the buses. The MasterCard MyCiti card’s (pictured) cost R35 to buy, and thereafter money has to be loaded onto the card.
There are two different packages available to customers: the normal fares and the Mover packages. The Mover packages work out cheaper in the long run and are convenient especially for those who use the buses often.
The Muvo card was first introduced in 2012 and was piloted on the inner city fleet of People Movers, where buses were fitted with electronic ticketing devices. The Muvo card now works on the People Mover and Durban Transport buses throughout Ethekwini municipality in KwaZulu-Natal province.
The card has a once-off fee of R20 when you buy it. Furthermore, the Muvo website
highlights that passengers have to load at least 10 trips, which according its website will cost an extra R80, in order to activate the card.
There are two payment options with the Muvo cards. You can either load specific bus trips on the card, or you can load cash. However, for every R50 loaded onto the card, a R1 fee will be deducted.
"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," said Mike Hughes, business development manager of Beyond Payments.
Up to R1,500 a month can be loaded onto The MasterCard Muvo. “The maximum payment per transaction is R200. These are referred to as Exemption 15 limits in terms of the Financial Intelligence Centre Act (FICA) and allow for the cards to be issued anonymously,” said Standard Bank in a statement.
Rea Vaya first started in 2009. Travellers pay a R20once-off fee to buy them and to activate the card R25 must be loaded onto it.
“The smart card is not only an environmentally friendly option, but since it is a partnership with Absa Bank, it also allows commuters to use it to buy commodities worth up to R200 at selected outlets. A limit of R3 000 a month can be loaded on to the smart cards at any Absa branch or ATM as well as at any Rea Vaya station kiosk,” said Rea Vaya in an article.
In July 2014, Rea Vaya introduced new fare products for their passengers. This allows passengers to pick the specific trips they would like to ride between and pay only for those at a discount.
“The new fare products, introduced on 1 July this year, allow regular passengers to select their own routes and save money. The RV10 and RV40 fares let commuters buy trips at a 10.5% and 15% discount respectively,” said Rea Vaya.
All these cards emulate the Oyster pay-as-you-go card in London, which was launched in 2003. Each of these cards offer more safety for customers in that they no longer have to carry cash with them. As the cards are preloaded with money, and are a simple touch-and-go, they make using public transport easier than before. Furthermore, the buses using these cards have expanded their routes in the years since their launch, in order to service more customers.