First-of-its kind initiative supports Tanzanian government’s aim to increase digitization

Mastercard has partnered with transportation solutions provider EYWA and leading financial institution NMB Bank to launch the EYWA Transit Solution in Tanzania. Consisting of a mobile App and a Transit Card, this first-of-its-kind mass transportation solution in the country will leverage cashless payments and digital technologies to efficiently transform how millions of commuters are moved daily within and across major cities.

Powered by the Mastercard QR (quick response), EYWA’s mobility management platform technology and NMB Bank’s banking expertise, commuters can now minimize contact during transit and stay safe as they commute. The solution enables commuters to avoid ticket-buying queues; check into the waiting pool of their destination; track the time of arrival of their buses and avoid the jostling and human-to-human contact by scanning their card to board the bus. With the use of their mobile phones (feature or smartphone) and transit cards, commuters can also cut out cash payments and the time wasted waiting for change through the pre-payment feature.

Commercial bus operators on the other hand will be able to view their passenger pool ahead of their arrival at the next station, ensure swift and organized passenger pick-up and be pre-informed on the number of stops per trip making travel time more predictable and efficient. In addition to this, bus operators will also benefit from being included in the financial ecosystem through the digitized payments, creating for themselves distinct financial records needed for securing credit facilities for the expansion of their business or maintenance of their vehicles.

Toffène Kama, CEO of EYWA said: “We are committed to making decent mass-transit services accessible for all with a goal of moving millions of Africans daily and safely, at the cost they can afford. As the world grapples with the COVID-19 pandemic, we are humbled to be able to launch a solution that will enable commuters in Tanzania transit while being able to stay safe by limiting human-to-human contact. Leveraging Mastercard QR and our unique technology, the solution centralizes the fare collection from a broad range of payment methods, ensuring a convenient, secure and hassle-free cashless experience for both drivers and passengers. We commend the efforts of the Association of Transporters in Dar es Salaam (UWADAR) and others in ensuring their network of drivers optimize this solution in providing better services to their customers”.

Over the past year, Mastercard has launched several digital payment partnerships in Tanzania designed to equip people with the right tools to join the digital economy and pave their own path towards financial security. These partnerships have resulted in a Mastercard QR consumer base of tens of millions and more than 50,000 new merchants accepting QR payments in the country.

Adam Jones, Area Business Head, East Africa, Mastercard, said: “With more people traveling around urban areas for work or leisure, cities are looking to better address the demand across public transit networks. As such, we are proud to have partnered with EYWA and NMB Bank to launch Mastercard QR in the transport sector, an integral part of Tanzania’s economy. With thousands of people using public transport on a daily basis, our digital payment technology integrated into this solution will have a substantial and positive impact on driving inclusive growth, as well as building the digital economy. Also, as people adopt new spending and sanitary behaviors in the light of current realities, this touch-free payment and transport system will enable more people to commute safely and transform the transport system in the country”.

This solution satisfies a growing need for an organized mass transit network that will appeal to all.

To enjoy this service, all passengers need to do is get their free EYWA Transit Card from EYWA agents located at bus stops and top-up through any of their preferred platforms. Commuters will receive information on the next arriving bus on their mobile phones. Smartphone users can also download the EYWA App for an even better user experience.

As the banking partner in this partnership, NMB Bank is no stranger to enabling commercial transport operators join the formal economy using digital payments technology tools. Last year, leveraging Mastercard QR, the bank enabled commercial motorcycle riders (boda-boda riders) to receive payments from customers directly to their NMB bank accounts, introducing them to a safe and secure payment platform that includes them in the financial ecosystem.

Ruth Zaipuna, Acting Managing Director of NMB Bank said:  “We are committed to growing Tanzania’s transportation sector and working with partners such as EYWA and Mastercard to introduce a digital solution that will not only promote a cashless society but will also benefit commuters and passengers – and the economy. “Formalization of these payments is a key component of NMB’s drive to enhance financial inclusion among the commuters and the transport sector as a whole. With Mastercard QR, we are providing an efficient means for commuters to receive payments from all MNOs and commercial bank customers that are Mastercard QR enabled. We all understand the obvious security risks that come with handling cash,” said Zaipuna.

This service will be available at all bus stations nationwide in Tanzania, starting with Dar es Salaam. Mastercard and EYWA plan to expand to other markets across East Africa, enabling more people to enjoy smooth and seamless digital transit services in the coming months.