Aconite Technology Limited, a leading provider of software and consulting services for managing business applications on chips in smart cards, tokens or mobiles, today announced that it has signed contracts with Traderoot Africa (Pty) Ltd., its partner in South Africa, to supply a prepaid contactless chip card system for South Africa's new integrated public transit network.
Aconite has licensed its Aconite Prepaid Value Manager software to Traderoot for integration into Traderoot's Universal Prepaid Issuing Platform (UPIP) product. UPIP has been licensed to a large South African transit payments processor.
The project, scheduled to go live this summer (BST), will initially enable public taxi-bus riders to purchase tickets quickly and easily using prepaid chip cards in contactless mode. Replacing cash with secure chip cards will allow cost reduction while mitigating fraud, theft and other related crimes, as well as speeding up the fare transaction process.
The initial pilot launch will deploy 50,000 cards, after which card numbers are anticipated to rise to 800,000 within 12 months and 2,000,000 in 24 months as the solution is rolled out to all elements of the planned integrated mass transit network. It is widely accepted that the initial target of 10 million cards will be reached within 3 years. Importantly, the solution to be implemented has already been approved by South Africa's Ministry of Transport for use in relation to transit ticket payments. Consequently, the project can move forward quickly and transit operator customers can have full confidence in its effectiveness.
Aconite Prepaid Value Manager adds smart prepaid/pre-authorised specific functionality to card management systems. It manages the complex processing specific to smart prepaid/pre-authorised that underlies the simple customer proposition. The product can manage closed or open-loop smart prepaid/pre-authorised payment products that may be accepted in offline and/or online POS (point-of-sale) terminals using contact and/or contactless interfaces. These products can be issued on chip-enabled cards (which may also be accepted at ATMs), tokens and mobile 'phones ("smart devices").
Together, Aconite Prepaid Value Manager and Traderoot's proven UPIP solution represent a powerful and flexible system that not only meets the processoor's current requirements but also provides it with a flexible and robust platform capable of supporting its business needs over the long term as its market develops and changes. For example, in addition to its transit payments related business, the processor is involved in supporting community banking. Prepaid products are a key payment instrument in the community banking market in any country. Smart prepaid/pre-authorised, which can be used in offline terminals without incurring unacceptable risk, is ideal in places where online authorisation is either impractical, uneconomic, unreliable or non-existent. Aconite's and Traderoot's combined software solution is the perfect vehicle to support innovative smart prepaid/pre-authorised products for the processor's community banking clients.
Patrick Regester, Aconite's SVP Sales & Marketing, said "This project will benefit passengers and transit companies alike for many years, providing a faster, more convenient way to pay fares that saves significant costs compared to paying with cash, cheques or other types of card. The system can also facilitate contactless payment with NFC-enabled mobile phones. We believe that there will be great demand globally for similar systems over the next few years and Aconite is well positioned, in conjunction with Traderoot and our other partners, to meet it".
Mark Schech, Director, Financial Services at Traderoot commented that "We selected Aconite as a partner because we recognized their expertise and proven solutions for EMV chip and pin transaction processing, prepaid and card life cycle management. The product fit has been exceptional and is in line with our technological road map, enabling us to quickly respond to local and international requirements for innovative chip solutions".