How to pay bus fare by M-Pesa in the wake of Covid-19

Monday March 23 2020

A passenger boards a matatu on Jogoo road. Safaricom has inked a deal with a number of public transport sector players that will see commuters pay fare via M-Pesa. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP


Commuters will now pay fare in the same manner one sends money from one person to another in efforts to limit cash transactions, which are the mainstay of public transport.

This follows a partnership between Safaricom with a number of public transport sector players to accept cashless payments through M-Pesa in the ongoing battle to combat the spread of coronavirus (Covid-19).

The deal will see crew from partnering public transit firms begin accepting fares through their phone numbers.

“Many businesses are seeing an increase in demand to accept M-PESA payments due to the ongoing concerns around the Coronavirus and our recent move to enable Kenyans send M-Pesa transactions of Sh1,000 and below for free,” Mr Sitoyo Lopokoiyit, the Chief Financial Services Officer at Safaricom said.

“Our partnership with the different public transit players brings the convenience and safety of M-PESA to this crucial sector given the widespread uptake of public transport across the country,” Lopokoiyit added in a statement.

Safaricom said on Monday that the service has already been deployed to more than 300 City Star Shuttle vehicles in Nairobi and will be rolled out to additional players in the coming days, helping them further comply with the Government’s recommendations to combat the spread of Coronavirus.


Passengers paying their fares through the service will follow the standard procedure when sending money to another person, keying the number provided by the crew.

Among measures to help minimize the impact of Coronavirus to its customers and to help them avoid the use of cash, Safaricom has announced all its M-PESA customers can Send Money for free for transactions of Sh1,000 and below for a 90 day period.

This comes at a time when Kenya has 15 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus. The government has asked players in the financial sector to cut transaction costs on cashless transactions to avoid the risk of spreading the virus using bank notes.