30 April 2013

Kenya: Equity, Google Launch Bus Fare Solution

Photo: Lauren Everitt/AllAfrica
A matatu, a mode of public transport, along Waiyaki Way in Nairobi.

Nairobi — Equity Bank has teamed up with Google to launch a payment card Dubbed BebaPay, which will provide a quick and convenient way to pay bus fare without the use of cash.

The payment system that allows very small transactions is meant to make commuting easier, orderly, and manageable and formalise the sector.

Speaking at the launch, Equity Bank Chief Executive Officer James Mwangi said that this partnership is in line with the bank's commitment to continue innovating financial products and services that make it easier and convenient for their customers when they are paying for goods and services.

"Our vision of a cashless economy is one of our strategies focus and is achievable through collaborations with other industry leaders who share this vision such as Google," said Mwangi.

BebaPay is an equity Bank product powered by Google that allows commuters to simply tap their BebaPay cards on a card reader to pay, making it easier for commuters to transact with operators.

Currently commuters living in Nairobi can obtain their BebaPay cards from Kencom located in Nairobi's central business district (CBD), and will be able to top up at any Equity Bank agent country wide.

The card can also be loaded by the conductor and also through money transfer services from all mobile networks.

More merchants are to be rolled out as the service rolls out countrywide.

Bus operators in the country will be able to use the BebaPay application on their smart phones to accept payments from BebaPay cards.

Commuters will receive free SMS receipt on their mobile phones making it easier to budget and manage their travel expenses.

Welcoming the service the Matutu Owners Association chairman Samuel Kimutai thanked Equity Bank and Google for coming up with such a program saying it will go a long way in solving the many challenges facing the Matatu industry which he said has been a nightmare to its owners.

He called on the Government to enact a legislation aimed at ensuring no cash is done as form of payment saying this will eradicate corruption among traffic officers and Matatu touts.

"A legislation to bar Kenyans from paying cash in Matatus among other services offered will be a big blow to corrupt individuals including traffic police and matatu operators," said Kimutai

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