Kenya’s Newest Payments Innovation: Equity and Google launch Electronic Payments

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Nairobi, 30th May 2013: Equity and Google today announced BebaPay, Kenya’s newest cashless innovation to make payments easy and more convenient for consumers and merchants. With BebaPay, bus passengers can sign up for a card and top up for free at Equity agents. Customers can also top up their cards via mobile money. BebaPay helps to overcome the problem of using cash and receiving the correct change when paying for public transport on the bus or “matatu”.  BebaPay is the first payments system of its kind for Kenya.

BebaPay makes it easy to pay for your bus fare and helps you budget and track your spending.  All you do is swipe your card on the card reader in order to pay. You also get free SMS receipts and the BebaPay website makes it easy to budget and manage your expenses on your mobile or computer.  You can get a BebaPay card for yourself, family members or co-workers.  Bus conductors can use BebaPay on a Near Field Communication (NFC)-enabled Android phone to accept payments from BebaPay smart cards.

Dr James Mwangi, CEO, Equity Bank, says that “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”.

“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”, says Joe Mucheru, Google Kenya Country Manager.  “Using NFC is part of Google’s efforts to improve transactions for both businesses and consumers. NFC makes it easier for people to pay for goods and services, and gives merchants extra ways to connect with their customers using technology and the Internet”.

Lucia Atieno, a daily commuter who has been using BebaPay card for over 6 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 such as Kencom House. Equity Bank is working on rolling out BebaPay to more locations over time.

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