O-City – an automated fare collection provider owned by BPC (a banking and payment firm which has 350 clients in more than 100 countries) has announced it now has over 10,000 matatu buses on its ‘Lipafare‘ service. The company says this new milestone represents a tenfold increase in matatus using its service.
‘Lipafare‘ was introduced a few years back at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. O-City says the service is designed to lessen reliance on physical cash. NikoDigi – a trasnport savings and credits specialist and Tracom – a payments firm – were partners for the launch. The service leverages the M-Pesa mobile wallet.
The official press release from O-City explains that Lipafare works by having users “put in a code on their phone that debits their wallet and can immediately be seen by drivers to give access to the bus”.
This, O-City says, removes the need for physical tickets and cash payments and replaces it with an accessible digital payment solution that is helping Kenyan passengers and transport operators to move more quickly through heavily congested routes in Nairobi. It also increases transparency in fare collection between the drivers and the bus owners.
O-CITY says it also developed new systems to accommodate SACCOs, nudging Matatu users to opt for Lipafare as more payment methods are accepted in comparison to other ride-hailing companies. Additional incentives for users include removing the cost of dialing the USSD for crew and commuters and removing the cost of withdrawing any amount over 10 USD.
Patrick Karera, MD at Nikodigi: “We are proud to be helping drivers and conductors across Nairobi to carry out an improved way of doing business digitally and seamlessly, which has proven to be immensely popular with customers, drivers and bus owners. These new digital methods are safer, reducing the need for cash after the COVID-19 pandemic, and also help us to future-proof African transport in the 21st century. “
Tokhir Abdukadyrov, SVP of smart city and transport solutions at BPC: “The booming success of this pilot shows that this is only the beginning of massive shifts across the region, the effects of which we are likely to see for decades to come. At O-CITY, we have been proud to connect the world in new ways. By leveraging mobile wallet M-Pesa, we have been able to scale the service quickly and easily so that customers and transport operators have more opportunities than ever.”