Passengers using Matatu minibus services in Kenya will no longer be able to pay their fares with cash once a digital fare collection system commissioned by the country’s National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) is rolled out.
The NTSA invited tenders for the contract to develop a cashless payments service that would also incorporate Covid-19 contact tracing functionality in June 2020. It has now licensed 29 financial services and technology providers to implement the service.
“Once the system is in place, all passengers will be required to pay their fares via mobile money platforms, giving the government access to their identities and personal contact information that is needed to combat the Covid-19 pandemic, which has disrupted lives worldwide,” Nairobi News reports.
Companies granted a licence to offer the cashless fare system include payment and mobile service providers such as Safaricom, Tracom, Craft Silicon, JamboPay and Cellulant, as well as banks including KCB Bank Kenya and NCBA.
The NTSA has yet to announce full details of the new digital fare payments system or a timescale for its rollout.
Matatu minibuses in Nairobi began piloting a contactless payments system, known as Lipafare, in November 2020, enabling passengers to pay their fares from their M-Pesa mobile wallet via the O-City fare collection platform.