Downtown Nairobi Keny traffic
Middle East & Africa Paytech Trending

All Aboard! Digital Fare Collection Available on 10,000 Kenyan Buses

Automated fare collection service provider O-City has successfully digitised payments across 10,000 buses across Kenya, in a move to reduce reliance on physical cash after the pandemic. 

Kenyan busO-City, the fare collection provider by BPC, has implemented the fare collection service ‘Lipafare’ across the popular Kenyan Matatu buses.

Users enter a code on their mobile device which triggers a charge to their M-Pesa wallet that can be shown to bus drivers to gain access. 10,000 buses are now using the service.

The ‘Lipafare’ service was originally launched during the height of the pandemic in 2020 with transport savings and credit firm NikoDigi and Kenyan payments provider Tracom. The service leverages the use of the M-Pesa wallet, estimated to be used by around 90 per cent of Kenyans.

It is suggested that one possible reason for the Matatu buses to have selected the ‘Lipafare’ service as opposed to other similar offerings is that this service accepts more payment methods. This comes from O-CITY’s previous ventures in developing systems that support Savings and Credit Co-Operative Society members (SACCOs).

Patrick Karera, managing director at NikoDigi commented: “We are proud to be helping drivers and conductors across Nairobi to carry out an improved way of doing business digitally and seamlessly, which has proven to be immensely popular with customers, drivers and bus owners. These new digital methods are safer, reducing the need for cash after the COVID-19 pandemic, and also help us to future-proof African transport in the 21st century.”

Tokhir Abdukadyrov, BPC
Tokhir Abdukadyrov, senior vice president of smart city and transport solutions, BPC

The quick adoption of the cashless service has meant that Kenyan passengers and transport operators have been able to move more quickly through congested traffic routes in Nairobi. This comes from saving the time previously spent organising cash payments and physical tickets. The move also aims to increase the transparency in fare collection across the country between bus drivers and owners.

Tokhir Abdukadyrov, senior vice president of smart city and transport solutions at BPC further explained: “The booming success of this pilot shows that this is only the beginning of massive shifts across the region, the effects of which we are likely to see for decades to come.

“At O-CITY, we have been proud to connect the world in new ways. By leveraging mobile wallet M-Pesa, we have been able to scale the service quickly and easily so that customers and transport operators have more opportunities than ever.”

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