, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 6 – Kenya Commercial Bank has partnered with Kenya Bus Service (KBS) to unveil a cashless payment debit card for their commuters dubbed Abiria Card.
The card is MasterCard enabled and allows commuters to pay their fare as well as use other banking services in KCB that include mobile banking, agency banking and credit card facilities.
KCB Managing Director Samuel Malone says they intend to roll out three million cards in three weeks time with commuters able to load their cards through the KCB network.
“They have options to load their cards through the more than 7,000 KCB agents, KCB mobile banking, as well as all KCB ATMs and branches,” he said.
The Abiria Card operates seamlessly through the tap to pay near field communication technology platform with no extra charges for running the card to the card holder; however, bus owners will pay a small transaction charge.
On his part KBS Managing Director Edwin Mukabanah says they have already installed card readers in their more than 260 buses and will go live by July 1, 2014.
Mukabanah says the formalisation of the sector will also enable the Public Service Vehicles (PSVs) employees to enjoy national social amenities that include National Social Security Fund (NSSF) and National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) to boost their employees’ benefits.
“This technology will facilitate management of staff for PSV owners by KBS,” he said.
The move comes as the government directed that all PSV operate using cashless payment system by July 1, 2014.
Last week, Fibre Space Limited partnered with the Matatu Owners and Matatu Welfare Associations to introduce a prepaid card system dubbed MY1963.
Matatu Owners Association Chairman Simon Kimutai said this move will help stop corruption in the sector by enabling investors to control their cash flow and will also ensure a fair pricing system to stop price hiking during peak hours.
Equity Bank was the first one to roll out last year when they teamed up with Google to launch a payment card Dubbed BebaPay that allows commuters to simply tap their BebaPay cards on a card reader to pay, making it easier for commuters to transact with operators.
The introduction of cashless payment is part of a wider strategy by the government to streamline the industry.
The cashless system will streamline the public transport sector making it more secure and give the public service vehicles investor’s greater control in revenue collection increasing efficiency and reduction of revenue leakages.