Boda-boda fare payment goes digital

NAIROBI, KENYA: A pilot project has been rolled out to enable Kenyans pay for boda boda rides using their cards.

Visa has collaborated with KCB Bank Kenya and the Boda Boda Safety Association of Kenya (BAK) to digitise payments for the motorcycle transport operators. 

The partnership kicks off with a three-month pilot project where 100 Boda Boda riders will be enabled on Visa on mobile so that they can make and receive payments using the solution. The free mobile payment solution is expected to accelerate safe digital payments and financial inclusion among boda operators.  

KCB Bank Kenya will train the riders on the use of Visa on mobile. 

“The digitization of Boda Boda payments is a key component of Visa’s drive to enhance financial inclusion among the communities and customers that we serve. With Visa on mobile, we are providing an efficient means for Boda Boda operators to receive payments, understanding the obvious security risks that come with handling cash. We are tapping into VisaNet, our secure gateway to bring the Boda Boda sector into formal financial sector,” said Kennedy Luhombo, Senior Business Development leader, Merchant Sales and Acquiring, Visa East Africa. 

Kenya has made significant strides towards enhancing efficiency in digital payments and promoting financial inclusion. The tri-partite collaboration is part of the Bank’s aspiration to create a viable and profitable cashless ecosystem to the benefit of the economy as a whole.

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“This partnership marks our commitment to foster an inclusive, safe and seamless digital ecosystem as well as help operators in the transport sector to transact faster, more securely and cost-effectively,” said Annastacia Kimtai KCB Bank Kenya Retail Director.  She added that: “By broadening our collaboration with Visa, we are further expanding the reach of financial and economic inclusion through digital solutions.” 

The payment card will enable Boda Boda operators to grow their business while reducing the costs associated with handling cash. The payment card will also let the Boda Boda operators be in complete control of their payments, thereby minimizing the risks of unauthorized transactions. 

Speaking at the launch of Visa-on-mobile, Charles Gichira, Principal, Boda Boda Safety Association of Kenya, said: “Our collaboration with Visa and Kenya Commercial Bank will enable BAK to professionalize the sector which is required to undergo transformation as part of complying with government regulations on road safety. With over 1.2 million registered operators under BAK, we are on track to create a formidable investment block that can create income-generating opportunities beyond our day-to-day operations on the road.”

On his part, Kevin Mubadi, Principal - Boda Boda Safety Association of Kenya said that the move to digitize payments in the Boda Boda sector is enable riders trace their money in terms payments from their customers and withdrawals from their transactions accounts. We are simply using a digital payment solution to enable the riders manage their finances securely and effectively. 

In a bid to help the Boda Boda sector become more compliant to the government’s safety regulations, Visa has contributed to 50 per cent of the cost for the 100 riders that will engaged in the pilot phase.

There are estimated 700,000 Boda Boda operators and projections are that the number will hit one million soon.

During 2019/2020 Budget Treasury CS Henry Rotich introduced a new tax measure for the operators in which all boda boda and tuk tuk operators will be required to obtain third party insurance to cover their passengers and pedestrians in case of an accident.

The CS indicated the measure would be achieved through amending the Insurance (Motor Vehicle Third Party Risks, Certificate of Insurance) Regulations.

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