Google has teamed up with Equity Bank, the largest bank in East Africa, to launch BebaPay, a payment card that makes it easier and more convenient to pay for bus travel in Kenya.
People travelling on key Nairobi bus routes such as Riruta, Karen and Jogoo Road will be able to pre-load money onto their BebaPay card, and swipe or tap it on the card reader when boarding a bus to pay for their journey.
BebaPay cards are being made available for free and users will get free receipt notifications by SMS whenever they use their BebaPay card to pay for a journey.
BebaPay uses smart cards powered by Near Field Communication (NFC) technology, plus software from Google. The NFC technology means that payment can take place offline, even when there is no power or network connectivity.
In time, Equity Bank will roll out BebaPay more widely, beyond the world of transport. The free BebaPay app turns any NFC-enabled Android phone into a card reader, which means that shops, traders and small businesses can use BebaPay to accept payments from customers, without needing expensive tills and cash registers.