Kenyan government in feud with operators over contactless payments

Today marks the deadline set by the Kenyan government for the rollout of contactless payment methods in taxis and on public transport – but the move is being fiercely resisted on the ground.

Backed up by the National Transport Safety Authority (NTSA), Kenya Commercial Bank has launched a new cashless fare payment card that is supposed to replace cash fares altogether in the Nairobi Central Business District. It is intended to reduce the risk of monetary theft and accidental loss for users of the transport network, and is the first of its kind in Africa.

However, the transport operators Matatu Welfare Association and Matatu Owners Association, as well as many taxi services, have dismissed the scheme as “impractical”, saying that its member companies are not ready to use the system.

Dickson Mbugua, Chairman of the Matatu Welfare Association, said: “There have been no serious consultations with investors, commuters and relevant stakeholders to discuss exhaustively the implications of the cashless system.”


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