In a bid to align with the latest industry requirements in the commuter services sector, KCB – Kenya’s largest commercial bank and Modern Coast – a commuter services provider with prominent presence between Nairobi and Mombasa routes, have partnered to introduce the Modern Coast card. The card is expected to ease the hassle of paying bus fare by introducing an electronic system that will allow commuters pay their fare electronically rather than carrying cash as it is currently – the Modern Coast commuter card can be used for paying fare across the region including Uganda and Tanzania.
Kenya’s commuter services industry sector is expected to go cashless in the next few months as regulations in the sector takes effect. Beyond being used for paying bus fares, card holders can use the Modern Coast Card with contactless technology to pay for goods at various points of sale (PoS) terminals across the world. Other banking services from KCB will be available to commuters to complement their transport usage such as mobile banking, agency banking and credit card facilities.
Speaking during the launch, Collins Otiwu, KCB Group’s chief financial officer, said that the launch of the card was a strategic move meant to support the government’s financial inclusion agenda and creating a seamless transition to electronic payments in the transport sector.
“In line with the Government’s directive that all payments in the transport industry should go cashless by June 1st, 2014, we as KCB have made it a point to join hands with like-minded partners in the public transport industry to ensure that they beat this deadline. We want to facilitate this transition by rolling out of the cards to over 40,000 passengers who use Modern Coast Bus monthly,” said Otiwu.
The Modern Coast Card operates through the KCB and Tap-To-Pay’s Near Field Communication (NFC) technology platform and commuters will be able to load their cards through the KCB network. They have options to do it through the KCB Mtaani agents, KCB M-Benki, the KCB branches as well as KCB ATMs and Modern Coast branches regionally.
“The card utilizes MasterCard’s contactless technology that provides commuters with a way to pay by simply tapping on a specially equipped terminal each time they enter or leave a station or bus. Fares are accurately calculated when they tap in and tap out,” said James Wainaina, Vice president and Area Business Head, MasterCard East Africa.
After tapping their card, they will get a physical or electronic receipt indicating the date, route and time of travel.
“We are committed to nurturing strategic partnership that provides innovative solutions to meet the ever changing needs of our customers. Through this partnership, KCB is committed to deliver relevant and innovative solutions to help our customers across the East African region to enjoy the convenience of cashless payments,” Owitu added.
On his part, Haroon Butt, MD, Modern Coast said that the Modern Coast Card will make it easier for them to manage their fleet and also reduce leakages which are associated with the current system of management.
“The cashless payment system will go a long way in ensuring that our trevenues are monitored efficiently and seal revenue leakages. The system will also boost customer confidence in electronic transactions, e-commerce and online banking in the country,” Butt said.
The successful migration of KCB cards to the new Europay, MasterCard and Visa (EMV) technology platform enables its customers to securely and efficiently make payments using the new cards. The bank continues to work on a system that will aggregate all its channels into one in order to make it simpler for its customers to monitor and provide support.