Safaricom adds Forward Travelers matatu’s to its cashless fare collection platform

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Commuters plying Nairobi city using Forward Travelers Matatu’s will now pay for their fares through Lipa na Mpesa facility, after the Sacco partnered with Safaricom. MPESA fare collection facility will become available immediately, in over 70 vehicles within the Sacco. Forward Travelers Sacco operate public service vehicles plying along Juja road, Kangundo and Malaa routes. In addition, Safaricom seeks to install the facility in over 400 matatus plying Kayole route in the coming weeks.

The service which will be powered by Simple Fare – a mobile and financial integration technology developed by Netcen Interactives, will enable commuters to pay for their fares through MPESA’s Lipa na MPESA facility and will reflect immediately on the bus crews’ phones.

Speaking on the partnership, Safaricom’s Chief Executive Officer Peter Ndegwa said, MPESA was becoming a favored method of making payments and fare collections for commuters and Matatus. Ndegwa further added, MPESA’s popularity had made it necessary to forge partnerships with the public service transport sector to give them solutions that make it easy to collect and reconcile payments. These solutions will in turn empower them and lead to efficient business operation, added Ndegwa.

How Simple Fare works

Matatu operators who use Simple Fare platform will be issued with daily reports on fare collection, withdrawals made to their MPESA accounts. The service is available on all types of handsets as well as on an online platform.

We recently announced on firms licensed by the NTSA to offer cashless fare collection in public service vehicles which included Safaricom. Since then, more operators are embracing the technology, given it offers an ample way to help eradicate the spread of Covid-19 by avoiding handling cash.

Speaking on the partnership, the Chief Executive Officer of Netcen Ephantus Thuku said the platform was aiding the fight against the pandemic as well as facilitating seamless interactions across the ecosystem. In addition, Thuku said it will help Matatu owners in tracking their investments while SACCO members monitor their member’s activities.

After signing Forward Travelers Sacco, the total number of vehicles currently using the cashless platform is now way over 400. At the moment, the platform is available in more than 300 vehicles belonging to City Star Shuttle vehicles in Nairobi.


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