Kenya’s first commuter card has announced exit from the Kenyan market after what seems like strategy gone bad. Formally unveiled in April 2013, BebaPay is the most used commuter card in Nairobi operating in over 15 saccos within and in the outskirts of Nairobi.
The move by both Google and Equity has triggered sentimental reactions from Kenyans who were fond of the system citing it one of great usability with broad foundation in terms of customers. The system worked equally well for touts who only needed an NFC enabled gadget to see through transactions. The soon to be former users have aired complains of limited information pertaining rival commuter cards which limits accessibility of the cards as well.
According to Google’s Communications and public affairs department, the firm is combining projects to focus on less payment systems. Users have therefore been asked to switch to Equity prepaid MasterCard® at no cost to replace the BebaPay Card. The new card will allow users to transact at all outlets accepting MasterCard.
For users to migrate from their BebaPay Card to the Equity prepaid Card, they will be required to visit a BebaPay agent with the BebaPay Card and National I.D. before 15th March, 2015. Exit by the companies comes after Google withdrew the cashless pay card from the Philippines where the system was mainly used by students to pay for food and books.
The system was anticipated to hit international markets the likes of M-Pesa and Ushahidi which unfortunately turned out a flop. The new Mastercard ATMs to replace Bebacard provide PayPass technology that can be tapped on mobile phones replacing the swipe and go system.