Kenya’s largest telco Safaricom has partnered with Forward Travelers to offer an M-Pesa fare collection solution to commuters in Nairobi in a bid to combat the spread of Covid-19.
The service is currently available in more than 70 Forward Travelers matatus plying Juja Road, Kangundo Road and Malaa Routes. The firms will complete the rollout for the 400 matatus plying the routes in coming days.
The service is powered by Simple Fare, a mobile and financial integration technology developed by Netcen Interactives. It enables a commuter pay fare through Lipa Na M-Pesa with the payment immediately reflecting to the bus crew’s phones.
“M-PESA is increasingly becoming a preferred way to pay and collect fare for commuters and matatus. It has therefore become necessary to partner with the matatu sector to provide them with solutions that make it easy to collect and reconcile payments empowering them to efficiently run their businesses,” said Safaricom CEO Peter Ndegwa.
Simple Fare provides matatu owners with a daily report on fares collected and enables withdrawal of funds to their M-Pesa accounts. The service works across all phones and is equally available on an online portal.
“In addition to supporting the fight against the pandemic, this platform facilitates seamless interactions across the ecosystem. It greatly boosts the matatu owners’ efforts of tracking their investments, while the SACCO can monitor their members’ activities. Such is the value that can be unlocked by embracing technological advancements. It is the future,” said Ephantus Thuku, CEO of Netcen.
The partnership with Forward Travelers Sacco brings to over 400 the number of public service vehicles that now accept payment of fares through M-Pesa.
The system is already in use in more than 300 City Star Shuttle vehicles in Nairobi.