Absa prepaid cards 'to benefit South Africa's unbanked'

Sep 23, 2010

South African bank Absa has become the first financial institution in the country to offer prepaid contactless payment cards to customers.

The Mail & Guardian reports the PayPass technology lets users pay for goods and services simply by tapping the card on a sensor at the point of sale. Director of Consumer Issuing for Absa Card Simon Just was quoted by the news source as saying the new offering will benefit those living in the country who do not have a bank account, as it offers an alternative to cash when paying for low-cost items such as train tickets.

"This PayPass solution means that the unbanked will have access to a card without having to undergo the Financial Intelligence Centre Act process, so we will bypass cash transactions simply and safely," he remarked, adding 31 per cent of the population does not currently have a bank account.

Absa, which is a subsidiary of Barclays, was founded in 1991 and also has operations in Mozambique and Tanzania.