FNBB Partners with Local Inventor

IMG 6808OleKard Group CEO Pule MmolotsiLocal inventor and Chief Executive Officer of the OleKard Group, Pule Mmolotsi, has announced that he has enlisted the services of FNB Botswana in implementing a new electronic payment system in the public transport sector. According to Mmolotsi, the bank is set to create accounts which will allow bus operators immediate access to the fares collected through the electronic payment system.

"FNB is a technologically-orientated bank. They will assist me in making sure operators get their money every day. This gives operators confidence that the money is coming straight to them", he said in an interview this week. Mmolotsi admitted that a major reason skeptical operators were shying away from the project was their concern about receiving their money from the cashless system.

"My aim is to make is to make sure [bus operators] get their money in time and with no inconvenience, and FNB was the only bank that could guarantee that," he said.

As the inventor explained, the proceeds from bus fares would be deposited into a cheque account held at FNB, which operators will be able to access immediately. Mmolotsi said this was not only convenient, but also protected operators from theft and fraud.

He has also confirmed that 3 major bus operators have committed routes on which the OleKard system will be tested during its pilot phase. Although Mmolotsi is reluctant to reveal the names of the bus companies he is working with, he does have in his possession Memorandum of Understanding from the 3 national operators. He hopes this pilot phase will entice other companies and inviduals to come on board. "The operators are the most crucial part of the project. If they buy into it, the whole idea will roll out easily", he said.

Mmolotsi also revealed that the OleKard Group is currently registering individuals to become vendors who will eventually sell OleKard credit to consumers, specifically targeting youth in need of employment. "Batswana need to understand that OleKard is an empowerment program", he said, as well as a platform for economic diversification.

Thus far, the project has received mixed review from stakeholders. Following a presentation by Mmolotsi held last week, a representative from Golden Bridge Express said "A good challenge for tomorrow's technology. I'm very happy with it". An anonymous commentator said, "Only time will show the benefits/challenges of the new technology", while another said, "The product is ideal, but still needs to be explored and addressed for it to work as planned".


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