Equity Bank and Google launch e-payments in Kenya
The new BebaPay smart card is set to make life a lot easier for Kenyan commuters thanks to innovation from a leading bank group and Google. Equity Bank and Google are behind Kenya’s newest cashless innovation, BebaPay, which is aimed at making payments easier for consumers and merchants.
BebaPay helps to overcome the problem of using cash and receiving the correct change when paying for public transport on the bus or “matatu” and is the first payments system of its kind for Kenya.
Bus passengers can sign up for a card and top up for free at Equity agents, and they can also top up cards via mobile money.
The swipe card is being hailed as an easy way to pay for bus fares helping travellers to budget and track spending more efficiently.
Dr James Mwangi, Chief Executive Officer, Equity Bank, said: “The BebaPay card is a first for Kenya and will change the transport industry when it comes to payment. It is a convenient local payment solution that makes it easy to budget and manage one’s expenses on a mobile phone or computer”.
Google Kenya Country Manager, Joe Mucheru, said: “Research showed that technology could help bus operators and passengers to ease the process of ticketing, so we’re pleased that Nairobi commuters can now enjoy the advantages of BebaPay.”
Users also get free SMS receipts and the BebaPay website makes it easy to budget and manage expenses on mobile or computer.
Bus conductors can use BebaPay on a Near Field Communication (NFC)-enabled Android phone to accept payments from BebaPay smart cards.
Lucia Atieno, a daily commuter who has been using BebaPay card for over six months, said “I now spend less on bus fares, since I can plan in advance how much money I need for a particular period of time.
“The conductors never leave with my change, which used to happen a lot if I forgot to as ask for it. Greatest of all, no more chunks of paper in my handbag in the name of receipts!”
Equity Bank and Google will be using affordable NFC-enabled Android devices that are available in Kenya and can be used for BebaPay.
Currently BebaPay is only available at key bus stops and Equity Bank is working on rolling out BebaPay to more locations over time.