CC image courtesy of teachandlearn on Flickr.
MasterCard has joined Visa, Google and Safaricom in rolling out a service allowing Kenyan commuters to pay public transport fares using mobile money.
To use the MasterCard PayPass, commuters can tap cards on a mobile phone or gadget to pay their fares, with MasterCard saying the payment solution will be launched by June.
It also plans to extend the service – which uses Near Field Communication (NFC) – to other services including shops, gas stations and grocery stores.
“MasterCard is keen on playing a significant role in the mass transit sector and is already working with local banks for the implementation of the relevant payment technology for Kenyan consumers,” said James Wainaina, MasterCard vice president and area business head for East Africa.
“Contactless is ideal for quick payment environments where speed and convenience matter most—from major retailers and quick service merchants.”
Kenya’s government has banned the use of cash for bus fares from July this year, and MasterCard joins a busy field in providing solutions for cashless payments.
Google’s “tap and go” Beba Pay card, in conjunction with Equity Bank, and the Kenya Bus Abiria Card also provide competition.
The multi billion untaxed industry has more than 22,000 PSV licensed operators in the country, according to the traffic licensing board.