Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Local company develops electronic system for paying public transport fares

Olekard Technologies has invented a multi-functional electronic pre-paid system that aims to beat the fraud and robbery of the traditional method of payment in which public transport operators collect hard cash from passengers.

After a two-month pilot project, beginning on May 25, the use of cash in paying public transport fares will be replaced by the new electronic method of payment. This will involve the use of passenger cards to be swiped on machines mounted in public transport vehicles. Passengers will up load the freely-provided cards with money. The cards can also be used for shopping or accessing hard cash from participating stores.

“The system will improve safety and security in public transport,” said Pule Mmolotsi, the Director of Olekard.

Mmolotsi said research that his company conducted before the development of the new system revealed that under the traditional system of payment, the majority of fleets are losing money to fraud and robbery. He said organized crime by employees is rife in the large fleets in the country.

When compared to other fleets, Seabelo Express has been plagued by fraud and robbery more.

The inventor said due to the current method of payment other fleets have been robbed at gun point. The Administration manager for Seabelo Express, Daniel Kgosibodiba, lauded the new system, saying it will reduce the incidents.

Mmolotsi revealed that after conducting research in Europe, Asia and China where similar technologies are used, they have managed to bridge issues of security in the new system. He expressed confidence in the security of the system.

“If criminals beat me I will rest my case,” said Mmolotsi who has already spent more than P2 million to develop the project.

Mmolotsi further said the system would also make it simple for the Government to consider free public transport by paying for pensioners through the system.

“The system would remind the Government that it could better pay for them since we are cost saving,” said Mmolotsi.

He explained that he had communicated the idea to the Government and got a positive response. Quizzed if he ever thought of partnership with the government, he said, “I would love partnership with the Government, even today if that could be a drawn idea I would accept it because the project is too huge to handle.”

Mmolotsi also mentioned his wish to liaise with the Post Offices in the running of his project on the basis of agreement. He said although there would be two kinds of Olekard (un-personalized and personalized) the pensioners would use the personalized ones.

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The Telegraph September 23

Digital edition of The Telegraph, September 23, 2020.