Absa Business Bank (ABB) has entered into a partnership with Capital Software to provide a reloadable and co-branded prepaid card, the Capital Money Card, which will be used to disburse census employees’ wages and salaries.

Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) has already indicated that the next census will be held in October 2011.

Census employees’ payments will be made onto the cards via ABB’s Business Integrator Card Online which is a web-based solution, enabling Absa’s business clients to issue and activate the prepaid cards.

The Card Online system enables funds to be transferred to a co-branded prepaid card to make simple payments for temporary wages, commissions, claims and incentives, thereby reducing the risk of paying by cash or cheque.  The recipient or end user of the card uses the card normally at a point-of-sale or an ATM.

Capital Software’s client, KTS Technology Solutions, was awarded the Census 2011 Payment Method tender by Stats SA earlier this year to provide an integrated IT solution for the salary payments of fieldworkers for Census 2011.

Capital Software, an Absa Business Bank client for more than 40 years, approached Absa at the end of June expressing the need for the bank to partner on the Stats SA card project.

“We agreed to use Capital Software as a pilot customer to test the co-branded reloadable prepaid card. The pilot programme from 1 March to 30 May was successful and the Capital Money Card with Stats SA will now run from 1 September to 15 October 2011,” says Bobby Malabie, chief executive of Absa Business Bank.

Malabie notes that customers are always on the lookout for a seamless and efficient means of paying beneficiaries, claimants, employees or third parties. “The alternative payment mechanisms will lessen the risk of cash handling and cheque fraud. They will also make payments to third parties who do not have traditional bank accounts via a card more easily.”

Capital Software MD Jacques de Wet says the company has a comprehensive card deployment and logistics plan in place to manage the physical roll-out of the prepaid card programme to the approximately 200 000 Statistics SA field workers.

“Unlike a traditional payroll card project, this project involves mass distribution in multiple locations in a very short space of time,” says De Wet. “In order for KTS and Capital Software to deliver such a solution in the required timeframe, a skilled project management team has been sourced to manage the card ordering, card delivery, national HR recruitment of card issuers/trainers and the payment processing of the Stats SA treasury to the prepaid cardholders.”