The Star (Nairobi)

6 June 2014

Kenya Bus Joins List of Cashless Rides

PUBLIC Service commuter company Kenya Bus will spend more than Sh70 million to fit and operate cashless payment system platforms.

Managing director Edwin Mukabanah said yesterday it will cost Sh270,000 to set up the Near Field Communication platform and roll out its 'Abiria Card' for the transition from cash to electronic payment.

Mukabanah said the cashless system will streamline the public transport sector and give the investors greater control in revenue collection thereby increasing efficiency and reducing revenue leakages.

The bus company has partnered with Kenya Commercial Bank which will host the payment system.

Mukabanah said customers will be able to load their cards through the KCB network while matatu touts will assist the Sacco to migrate from analog technology to digital.

"The touts will not loose their jobs, we will be able to train all of them so that they can become drivers in this industry," he said.

The bank is expected to roll out over three million NFC cards in the transport sector to support the implementation of the public transport industry.

"This card will be used on a tap and go basis in which the software will be fitted in all the 260 KBS buses. The partnership between KBS and KCB is expected to make transport more efficient, secure and to boost investor confidence," said KCB managing director Samuel Makome.

In January, the government issued a directive requiring all public service transport operators to implement the cashless payment system, and in February gazetted regulations that will outlaw the use of cash for bus fare payments starting next month.

Makome said the partnership will establish a relationship that allows the bank to provide credit facilities such as asset financing, check off loans and over drafts to public service transport operators.

"This sector will enable the public service vehicles to enjoy National Social Security Fund and National Health Insurance Fund which will boost their employee benefits." he said.

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