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Chaos engulfs Kenya’s e-payment transport plans

Kenya , 09 Jun 2014

Chaos engulfs Kenya’s e-payment transport plans

Confusion reigns over Kenya’s digital transport payment plans as a key deadline looms.

With just three weeks to go before a July 1 deadline, debate is raging over different payment methods offered by players in the transport sector.

Last week, Kenya Bus Service launched its own electronic payment system in conjunction with Kenya Commercial Bank dubbed “Abiria card”.

Meanwhile, the Matatu Owners Association (MOA) last month also launched its own payment system named “My1963”.

Confusing matters further, electronic payments firm VISA and Safaricom’s mobile money service M-Pesa are looking to launch their own transport payment systems before the deadline.

The co-founder and chief executive officer of mobile fundraising tool MChanga, Kyai Mullei, says these varying payment methods are ripe for breeding chaos in the transport sector.

“We have a situation where we have hundreds of different companies and entities in the public transport system. It could very well be that each have their own payment solution. Then, you are forced to have all the payment systems,” Mullei told ITWeb Africa.

“Business will recognise that they will stand to gain more if they all agree on some sort of universal payments system,” Mullei added.

Confusion also persists with other key aspects of transport e-payments.

It is unclear whether long distance buses, taxis and trains also have to shift to electronic payment systems.

Also, Mullei has questioned if policies are in place to allow customers to be refunded in cases of transport glitches.

However, amid these questions, Kenya’s National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) said it plans releasing a set of regulations to guide the cashless payment implementation.

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