MasterCard International today launched its OneSMART MasterCard programme in Africa at a smart card exhibition in Johannesburg.
The objective of the programme is to provide, under one umbrella, all the technological solutions and support required for African banks to migrate to EMV compliant smart cards and terminals, as well as to deploy value-added applications.
According to MasterCard research released at the programme launch, 90% of South African consumers perceive smart cards to be a far more secure way of protecting cards against fraudulent transactions. Almost 80% of those surveyed agreed that they will benefit from this security in their day-to-day spending.
From 1st January 2005 in South Africa, and 1st January 2006 in the rest of Africa, banks who have not upgraded to the EMV smart card standard will become liable for losses attributed to fraudulent transactions. As well as offering enhanced security, smart cards are also equipped with the potential to carry loyalty programmes, data storage, transportation applications, and more, thus providing cardholders more personalised cards.
"The OneSMART programme covers every aspect necessary to launch a successful smart card programme," says Eddie Grobler, senior vice president and general manager, MasterCard Southern Africa. "It integrates the key areas of consumer value proposition, marketing initiatives, market-ready technology solutions and end-to-end implementation support."
The programme also enables banks, initially through the smart card exhibition, to best leverage their EMV chip infrastructure by facilitating interaction with more than 20 local and global chip technology suppliers.
"The key to success with smart cards is giving the cardholder compelling reasons to use the card, thereby creating profitable programmes for banks and retailers," says Grobler. "South African banks have an opportunity to transform today's payment cards into a relationship building tool that will exceed the expectations of even the most demanding cardholders. We see an unprecedented opportunity for African banks to grow their payments business across new channels and new markets.”