Are taxi motos ready for cashless payments?

Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Authority (RURA) on March 27 issued guidelines for commercial motorcyclists as part of efforts to control the spread of Covid-19.Taxi-moto operators had spent more than 70 days out of service due to covid-19 restrictions.Among the guidelines, motorcyclists and passengers must carry hand sanitizers to use before every trip, a passenger must have a piece of cloth to wear under the helmet, and motorcyclists must observe social distancing where they park.

Other guidelines are that passengers who can afford it should buy their own helmets and people were encouraged to use cashless payments.


There was also the mandatory use of meters by commercial taxi-motos in Kigali City from June 1, but it was extended to July 1, because motorcyclists couldn’t get the meters in time.

According to FERWACOTAMO, a federation of motorcycle cooperatives in Rwanda, only 7,500 motorbikes had meters, as of May.

The number represented 29 per cent of the total 26,000 motor-bikes in Kigali City.

So far, an additional 5,000 motorcyclists have been given phones installed with a meter application by Pascal Technology, a software development company that operates in the transport sector.

“We thought of coming up with a software to improve on how the payments are done. So, when this project kicks off, we shall be using cashless mode of payment; mobile money and cards,” Ronald Mugisha, the Chief Operations Officer at Pascal Technology.

For cards to be used, Mugisha explained that their company was in talks with AC Group to see if their Tap&Go smartcards could be used. But if it doesn’t work, Pascal Technology will come up with their own cards, according to Mugisha.

The application calculates the fare per distance travelled. It is available in Kinyarwanda and English, and accepts payments from mobile money.

Motorcyclists are only required to be operating legally in order to be given the phones, however, they will be paying in instalments through customers’ payments.