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O-CITY leads Kenya contactless payment boom by scaling digital fare collection for over 10,000 Matatu buses

O-CITY, the automated fare collection provider by BPC, has been accelerating cashless fare collection across Kenya by providing a widely popular service, now digitising payments across over 10,000 Matatu buses. This represents a tenfold increase in Matatu buses using the service since its pilot only a couple of years ago during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dubbed ‘Lipafare’, the O-CITY pilot, designed to lessen reliance on physical cash at the height of the pandemic, was launched with transport savings and credit specialists, NikoDigi, and Kenyan payments firm, Tracom. Spearheading digital transformation in transportation across the region, the automated fare collection platform created by O-CITY leverages the popular M-Pesa mobile wallet, currently used by 90% of Kenyans.

Matatu buses dominate transportation options across the country and are used by 70% of the Kenyan population serving Nairobi and additional long routes to Nanyuki Town, Kajiado Town, Eldoret Town and Limuru Town. Users put in a code on their phone that debits their wallet and can immediately be seen by drivers to give access to the bus.

This removes the need for physical tickets and cash payments and replaces it with an accessible digital payment solution that is helping Kenyan passengers and transport operators to move more quickly through heavily congested routes in Nairobi. It also increases transparency in fare collection between the drivers and the bus owners.

O-CITY also developed new systems to accommodate SACCOs, nudging Matatu users to opt for Lipafare as more payment methods are accepted in comparison to other ride-hailing companies. Additional incentives for users include removing the cost of dialing the USSD for crew and commuters and removing the cost of withdrawing any amount over 10 USD.

Patrick Karera, MD at Nikodigi: "We are proud to be helping drivers and conductors across Nairobi to carry out an improved way of doing business digitally and seamlessly, which has proven to be immensely popular with customers, drivers and bus owners. These new digital methods are safer, reducing the need for cash after the COVID-19 pandemic, and also help us to future-proof African transport in the 21st century. "

Tokhir Abdukadyrov, SVP of smart city and transport solutions at BPC: “The booming success of this pilot shows that this is only the beginning of massive shifts across the region, the effects of which we are likely to see for decades to come. At O-CITY, we have been proud to connect the world in new ways. By leveraging mobile wallet M-Pesa, we have been able to scale the service quickly and easily so that customers and transport operators have more opportunities than ever.”


Download the Kenya Matatu case study