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Safaricom, KCB win cashless matatu fares platform contract

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Matatu cashless fares

Safaricom, KCB and 27 other tech companies have won the matatu cashless fares contract. The National Transport Authority (NTSA) announced in a notice hinting at plans to kickstart the Matatu industry cashless fare system.

The system is meant to help monitor the matatu industry for taxation purposes as well as contact tracing for combating COVID-19.

NTSA is for the second time attempting to implement a cashless fare system in the matatu industry in Kenya.

As a step towards the cashless fare system on Kenyan roads, NTSA has contracted 29 companies to offer a platform for the payments to be made and received.

The companies, notably, include Safaricom, NCBA, Cellulant, KCB, Craft Silicon, among others. Once in place, these companies will install cashless payment technology in Passenger Service Vehicles, after which no Matatu will be allowed to accept cash as a form of payment.

This move comes after the government through the NTSA had attempted to transform and digitize matatu fare payments back in 2016. This move had failed as NTSA had been accused of not following the correct procedure, limiting matatu owners to just a few banks to work with.

The government is planning to use this as a platform for contact tracing in an effort to combat COVID-19. However, Kenyans and Matatu owners will largely see this move as a means to obtain taxes in based on the records of the transactions.

As per the NTSA notice, “Pursuant to section 30(2) of the NTSA Act, 2012, the authority plans to introduce mandatory use of cashless payment for all public service vehicles (PSV).”

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