CC image courtesy of teachandlearn on Flickr.
Safaricom is working on introducing a lipa na M-Pesa service for Kenya’s popular Matatu public transport industry, where commuters will pay fares using mobile money.
The Kenyan operator said the new service is targeting the multi billion untaxed industry which has more than 22,052 PSV licensed operators in the country according to the traffic licensing board.
Speaking to HumanIPO, Nzioka Waita, Safaricom corperate affairs manager, said each Matatu will be provided with a mobile based Lipa Na M-Pesa till number.
Waita said: “Commuters will pay to the till number on the Matatu from as little as Ksh10. At the end of the day or anytime they wish, the Matatu owners can withdraw funds collected on their tills to their M-Pesa accounts.”
Though he did not give timelines for the planned service roll out, Waita said recruitment is currently ongoing with more than 600 buses, taxis and Matatu’s already recruited.
Safaricom said the new service goes hand in hand in establishing a cashless economy and increasing value to the lives of Kenyans by offering affordable services.
“The Lipa Na M-PESA tariff applies. This was earlier this month reduced from 1.5 per cent to 1 per cent,” Waita added.
The new mobile payment service into the transport sector extends the firm’s bid to increase M-Pesa usage, having launched payment schemes such as Lipa Kodi for rent , Lipa Karo for schools fees and Lipa Na M-Pesa for retailers.
The new service will also be competing with Google’s Beba Pay and Kenya Bus Abiria Card, all prepaid plastic card used to settle public transport bills.