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Wednesday, April 16, 2008

AutoReg migrates to Freedom Card

The Lagos State government has begun migration of its automatic vehicle registration management, known as AutoReg to Freedom Card payment platform, managed by 3Line Card Management Limited.

This was the outcome of the strategic partnership between 3Line Card Management and Courteville Investment Limited, owners of the AutoReg trademark, according to the Chief Executive Officer, Courteville, Mr. Bola Akindele.

He also said that the system which had operated before now on scratch cards platform has now been moved to a more robust smart cards platform capable of carrying out other financial transactions immediately and in the nearest future.

He explained that the new platform is a smart card that contains a memory chip and could perform the functions of a debit card, credit card, prepaid card and other transactions such as payment for petrol and payment for lottery.

Akindele said that the scheme avails vehicle owners in the state to register their vehicles by visiting registration centres, which are the branches of banks involved in the scheme led by Oceanic Bank, which was the first bank in the country that issued the Freedom card and AutoReg co-branded cards to vehicle owners.

He also disclosed that the scheme, which began a year ago, has increased the state’s revenue generation by 300 per cent and created a million records of vehicle owners within the period under review.

Mr. Akindele equally said the scheme has eliminated problems previously linked with obtaining vehicle licenses such as touting, corruption and delay associated with manual vehicle registration.

“Now, it takes only five minutes to capture a registration process through the AutoReg scheme. It is a home-grown scheme and the first of its kind in the world,” he said.

He emphasised that his company decided to work with 3Line Card Management in order to move the AutoReg scheme to the next level and eliminate all other limitations associated with the scratch cards platform.

“We choose 3Line Card because out of all the card companies that approached us, 3Line Card has the best infrastructure that can handle all our requirements,” he said.

According to him, with a 72k chip, the highest data storage capacity in the market, AutoReg Freedom cards capacity is limitless, just as they envisioned that in the future, vehicle owners would be able to use their AutoReg Freedom Card for payment services such as buying goods at supermarkets, payment for tolls on Lagos roads, payment for fuel at filling stations across the state.

Speaking at the media launch, last weekend, Chief Executive Officer, Oceanic Bank Dr. (Mrs) Cecilia Ibru, said her bank was proud to be associated with the project.

“It is part of our commitment to co-create value in e-governance with the Lagos State government,” she declared.

As said by her, Oceanic Bank has consistently been the lead bank amongst other banks involved in the AutoReg scheme.

“We’re devising more innovative ways and methods for vehicles owners to derive maximum benefits from the upgraded scheme,” he said.

While explaining the multi-functionalities of the AutoReg new platform, Dr. Ibru said that the traditional vehicle owners’ details would be electronically stored in the cards for the purposes of verification by government agencies.

Additionally, the card could be used as a debit card or electronic purse for existing customers of the bank, and electronic purse for non-customers that do not operate any bank account.

“This is done through the creation of a virtual account for such customers. Money is stored electronically on the card, which can be used on Automated Teller Machine (ATMs), point of sale (PoS) terminals and on the web.”

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