Safaricom has said that it has collaborated with Forward Travelers to offer M-pesa fare collection for Matatu users in Kenya through Simple Fare.
According to Safaricom, the service will see Forward Travelers, a Sacco that operates on Kangundo Road, Juja Road, and other destinations in East lands immediately. The service will then roll out to over 400 Matatus plying the Kayole-City Center Route.
Speaking during the launch of the service, Peter Ndegwa, Safaricom’s CEO said, “M-PESA is increasingly becoming a preferred way to pay and collect fare for commuters and matatus. It has therefore become necessary to partner with the matatu sector to provide them with solutions that make it easy to collect and reconcile payments empowering them to efficiently run their businesses.”
This comes at a time when the Ministry of Transport and The Nairobi Metropolitan Service are working together to reign on the Matatu industry that has been accused of various crimes.
The service dubbed Simple Fare, allows Matatu owners to see that daily fare collected and the amount can be withdrawn via their M-pesa account. The service will be run on mobile phones and an online portal.
This will be a relief to many commuters as many conductors have been accused of robbing their clients dry.
“In addition to supporting the fight against the pandemic, this platform facilitates seamless interactions across the ecosystem. It greatly boosts the Matatu owners’ efforts of tracking their investments, while the SACCO can monitor their members’ activities. Such is the value that can be unlocked by embracing technological advancements. It is the future,” added Ephantus Thuku, CEO of Netcen.
This deal now brings to over 450 the number of public service vehicles that now accept payment of fares through M-PESA. Already, the service is available on more than 300 City Shuttle vehicles in Nairobi.
Simple Fare, a mobile and financial integration technology developed by Netcen Interactives, powers the service. It enables a commuter to pay the fare through Lipa Na M-PESA with the payment immediately reflecting in the bus crew’s phones.