Smart bank cards launched to help combat fraud
By Odette Ismail
23 January 2007
South Africans can look forward to using microchip-embedded smart cards this year in a bid to combat fraud.
The aim is to nurture a cashless society, urging consumers to make low-fee debit card payments for small purchases.
South Africa is the first country outside Europe to launch the technology and among the second batch of countries to adopt the card.
The card, which will contain a microchip, will allow movie downloads and sports event tickets from the internet by 2010, according to a daily paper. Commuters will also use these cards to pay for public transport and buy items at a low cost.
However, the migration would cost the industry R2 billion says Herman Singh, South Africa’s director of architecture and technology for Standard bank.
He says a few thousand of the cards will be circulated by the end of the first quarter. Singh says, South Africa’s biggest four banks will have 8 million customers using this technology by 2008. Credit cards will be converted first, followed by cheque and debit cards.