CIO East Africa (Nairobi)

1 February 2014

Kenya: Booknow - Cashless Payments Good for Kenya's PSV Sector

The directive by the ministry of transport to have cashless payments implemented in public service vehicles has come under criticism from various quarters especially the players including owners as well as conductors and drivers. However according to online ticketing company BookNow the move will bring sanity to the sector as well as more revenue to the economy.

BookNow co-founder Francis Gesora says the move will above all eliminate the rampant corruption in the transport sector as well as monies lost by employers to rogue conductors.

To the government this will mean well documented revenue collection and thus less tax evasion hence more development he says.

"Those opposing are among those who benefit from the inefficiency in the system most of whom are conductors and not owners. Overall PSV owners will receive more collections as large sums of money are not availed to them," he says.

To online ticketing companies he says this will increase confidence in systems are e-commerce leading to more bookings through the web.

This is as a survey carried by the company showed that East Africa's e-ticketing has a potential of 30,000 seats daily worth $100 million a year 45 percent of which is in Kenya.

The company which targets long distance travelers hopes that the move will also result to more organization with employees in the sector getting monthly salaries as daily wages are eliminated.

Above all he says this is an opportunity for developers to create platforms to support the initiative and provide back to end services for continued support.

"Kenyan app developers have already created a name for themselves globally they have tapped in various ways from the economy. This new move is however the biggest opportunity with various SACCOS in need of such platforms," he concludes.

A number of cashless payments solutions are already in the market including Beba Pay,abiria card among other upcoming solutions.

Telecommunication giant Safaricom is also rumored to be in the process of launching a similar solution soon to augment the lipa na mpesa that is already in use.

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