BuuPass allows you to buy Bus Tickets from your Phone using *877#

http://buupass.com/

Was pretty excited that this actually worked and decided to write about it:

So I’ve just been amazed by a new Service called BuuPass that helps me buy Easy Coach Bus ticket from my phone using USSD *877#.

I normally travel using Easy Coach (now this is starting to sound like I’m getting paid to promote them LOL) and everyone laughs at me saying they’re too slow. But I love getting the backseat and enjoying the long journey alone.

Getting a ticket isn’t always a problem. When I am home, I can drop by the office, pay and pick up a ticket, arrive later on for the travel. When I am in Nairobi, I am always that last minute ticket buyer, “Kuna basi inatoka saa hii?”

Of late, I have been seeing these posters/banners promoting this new service, (I’m good with remembering numbers granted I last saw this code a week ago and yet I still remembered it today – Plus I know all my card numbers off-head) and I decided today, since I hurriedly made the decision to travel tonight, to try the code out instead of walking to Railways to book a ticket.

There’s more than this

How to book Easy Coach Bus on Phone:

  • Dial *877#
  • Follow Prompts stating your route, time, etc
  • Choose seat
  • Enter your ID number and Full Name
  • When you get to the payment details (Since I didn’t know what was going on, I said forgot PIN) set your my service PIN.
  • And here’s where something I’ve never seen happens, you get to set the service PIN and your M-Pesa is automatically charged. Nobody asked me for my M-Pesa Pin. Hey Safaricom, eh?
  • You’ll then receive and M-Pesa transaction SMS and a confirmation SMS from BuuPass of your details, travel time and blah blah.
  • I am guessing it is the BuuPass SMS that I need to show to the folks at Easy Coach.
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I surely thought there’d be a PayPill/Till number and stuff like that once I had filled in my details. But seems like there’s a layer to the M-Pesa API that allows such like stuff to happen.

All you do is key in and your M-Pesa is automatically charged. And just like that you have a ticket.

Transaction messages

Shortcomings:

  • Only Kisumu – Nairobi or Nairobi – Kisumu route. And there are many other Easy Coach destinations. So why?
  • There are levels where the USSD takes long to load
  • Can one book for someone else? Or does this rely on the exact details as from the registered Safaricom line. If one can book for someone else, aaaaah can one charge my M-Pesa without me knowing about it? Please explain.
  • There’s no loyalty rewards going on. So no travel points and stuff you can redeem later on.

All in all, this is a pretty neat feature and (I have not traveled yet so I’m waiting to see how I get to collect a ticket tonight) I hope everything works alright.

Share your thoughts.

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