The National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA), wants to ban the use of cash for matatu fares across the country. In a notice issued earlier today, the authority plans to introduce mandatory use of cashless payments for Public Service Vehicles.

The authority is inviting bids from tech companies who will help build the system and act as service providers for “The Provision of Contact Tracing(Passage Manifest) With Payment Gateway Services.” NTSA has given a submission window of two weeks – from now till June 16.

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This system, once completed, will be installed on all PSVs across the country.

Once the system has been rolled out, customers will be forced to use cashless modes of payment like mobile money to pay fare.

The authority says the move will help “provide a platform for deployment of an effective contact tracing (passage manifest) application to support the Government’s effort in addressing the coronavirus pandemic.”

Aside from contact tracing, cashless payments have also been promoted by the government as a way to curb the spread of Covid-19.

Through the CBK, the government helped slash the transaction fees on all mobile payment transfers below Ksh 1000, even though it has been hurtful to mobile payment providers.

The system could also make it easy for the taxman to track earnings in the multi-billion matatu industry.

In 2014, the government tried to introduce a cashless payment system for use in the matatu industry but the idea was flunked due to retaliation from matatu operators who saw it as a way to track their daily earnings for taxation related issues, says BusinessDailyAfrica.

On the other hand, the system could have also enabled matatu owners to track daily earnings of their vehicles in real-time.

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