MPESA’s Partnership With PSVs Now Saving Grace Amid This Corona Pandemic

When cashless payment was first rolled out back in 2014, it was met with opposition and justifications over losses the Public Service Vehicle industry was exposed to compared to service providers meant to reap more. Back in the day, this was an obvious fight between new technology and matatus but now cashless payment is the new way to go as Kenya strives to curb the spread of COVID19.

To reduce contact among members of the public during the exchange of payments and balances, individuals will now use their phones to pay fares. In the new partnership, the public sector players are now accepting payments through Mpesa. As part of the new development, the service has already been deployed to more than 300 City Star Shuttle vehicles in Nairobi and will be rolled out to additional players in the coming days, helping them further comply with the Government’s recommendations to combat the spread of Coronavirus.

The partnership will see the crew from partnering public transit firms begin accepting fares through their phone numbers. Passengers paying their fares through the service will follow the standard procedure when sending money to another person, keying the number provided by the crew.

“Many businesses are seeing an increase in demand to accept M-PESA payments due to the ongoing concerns around the Coronavirus. Our partnership with the different public transit players brings the convenience and safety of M-PESA to this crucial sector given the widespread uptake of public transport across the country,” said Sitoyo Lopokoiyit, Chief Financial Services Officer, Safaricom.

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Among measures to help minimize the impact of Coronavirus to its customers and to help them avoid the use of cash, Safaricom has announced all its M-PESA customers can Send Money for free for transactions of KES 1,000 and below for a 90 day period.

Gathoni Kuria

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