Absa, South Africa’s largest consumer bank, has announced that it will launch a contactless payments network in South Africa by the end of the year, according to Tech Central.
As part of a long-term strategy to add “mobility and convenience,” Absa customers will soon be provided with contactless bank cards that can be used to make purchases with a single tap against a reader at the point of sale. Absa says they will eventually introduce contactless payment via NFC-enabled mobile phones as well.
Absa has also added banking functions to its point of sale equipment, enabling customers to make in-store deposits, withdrawals, check their balances, buy air time and perform other basic banking services.
Aside from retail, Absa is in talks with transit operators and taxi companies to enable contactless payments on public transport.
Absa has set the transaction limit on the new contactless cards to R200 a day (about $25). Users can only load up to R1,500 ($187.55) at one time, and monthly transactions are limited to R,3000 ($375.30).
According to Simon Just, Absa Card’s head of consumer issuing services, the bank plans to have 4,000 contactless terminals in service by the middle of 2012.
Standard Bank, a fellow South African institution, has already been working on contactless projects of its own, notably at the Oppikoppi music festival in July.
Absa says they will provide more information regarding the new system and NFC technology before the end of the year.
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