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About four million people live in the South African port city of Durban and its metropolitan region. They want to be mobile and therefore like using the line buses provided by the eThekwini Transport Authority (ETA). However, trains and pick-up taxis obviously also belong to intermodal everyday life. In order to introduce an e-Ticketing system in this city, first of all a fundamental problem will need to be resolved: while the wealthier section of the population lives much like Europeans, many poor South Africans do not even have a current account - and conventional e Ticketing concepts generally require such bank accounts to be opened.
Almex, in cooperation with the National Department of Transport (NDoT) and the Standard Bank of South Africa, developed the Muvo Card on the basis of the EMV contactless credit cards from MasterCard. This plastic card combines two essential functions: the citizens of the Greater Durban can now top them up with cash at charge stations. In other words, the Muvo Card essentially works like a kind of portable prepaid current account. When boarding a bus, this card merely needs to be held up in front of a reading device and the price of the ticket is debited. Alternatively, tickets can also be saved to the card. In the process, the modern on-board computers of the successful almex.optima product range are being deployed. In addition to the function as a smartcard for e Ticketing on buses, the Muvo Card can be used everywhere as a cashless means of payment wherever EMV contactless is accepted. Because the Muvo Card was certified by the NDoT, in future it could be used as a basis for making payments on all buses, trains, and even in the popular shared taxis throughout South Africa to facilitate an Integrated Rapid Public Transport Network.
The pilot test began in June. The conclusion is positive: the Muvo Card works perfectly in everyday operation. After the successful trial phase, in August the new smartcard was distributed free of charge. "This is a great day for public transport in eThekwini. Today we welcome the future", said Thami Manyathi, Head of the ETA, delighted with this development. People at Almex Transport Solutions (Pty) Ltd, responsible for customer relationship management for the ticketing systems in South Africa, are also highly satisfied: "In South Africa, the Muvo Card is the first functioning e Ticketing solution that is suitable, thanks to the system requirements, for broad deployment throughout the country", explains Stephen V. Lelyveld from the partner organisation in South Africa.