Kigali City gets a new transport payment card
Commuters in Kigali will now have options when paying for transport fare after a new player joined the market in what is seen a major boost to the country’s cashless movement.
Designed and developed by Centrika, a Rwandan fintech and software development company, the smart card dubbed SafariBus has for months been piloted in Musanze District.
Commenting on the development, the Centrika management said that they are using “technology solutions and human resources to deliver tomorrow's solutions today.”
The dual interface SafariBus card can be used to pay for transport fare for bus, taxi-moto and cab rides in Kigali.
“Cashless payments have become mainstream in Kigali's transport industry with the dual interface card, called SafariBus,” says Centrika’s management in a statement.
Some transport companies have already started using the SafariBus card payment system.
Yego Moto, Yego Cabs and bus companies like Yahoo Car and RFTC have so far joined the move, with more expected on board. Commuters with the card can tap on the meters or validators and instantly pay the transport fare.
The SafariBus card, a prepaid card powered by Centrika Ltd in partnership with Cogebanque and UnionPay International, works locally and internationally. With the card, people can also pay for services other than transport fare.
With the card, the firm said, you can also pay for goods and services using Point of Sale (POS) terminals at supermarkets and hotels, restaurants and cafes. The card is also used for online and in-app payments.
You can also use the card to withdraw cash at ATM machines owned by Bank of Kigali, KCB, Equity Bank and Ecobank..
Centrika says the SafariBus card is an alternative to debit and credit cards.
“We have deployed more than 40,000 card users in Rwanda, with a daily growth of 2000 new users due to our attractive features, and that number will continue to grow as people learn about the smart card,” said Winnie Mutabazi, the Customer Service and Marketing Manager at Centrika.
“Centrika, with the SafariBus card, is not only digitizing transport but also supporting further acceleration of digital and financial inclusion,” said Alex Ntale, CEO of Rwanda ICT Chamber.
“We’re looking forward to partnerships that Centrika will open up for other tech companies that want to integrate with this card.”
Through a campaign dubbed “IkoraByose” campaign, Centrika is currently encouraging more people to use the SafariBus card.
Centrika says the SafariBus card will boost Rwanda’s cashless transport systems as well as the country’s financial inclusion of people in rural areas, where banking services haven’t reached. This also comes in support of the government's goal to realize a fully cashless economy in the future.
“By utilizing a reloadable prepaid card, people who do not have access to banking facilities can store wealth in a manner that isn’t reliant on securely managing quantities of cash,” said Mutabazi.
“Moreover, this is a card that people can use without being reliant on a bank or similar financial institution.”
Centrika has been in the Rwandan tech industry since 2012. The tech company also has the SafariBus Platform that allows bus operators to manage transport and users to transact in the transportation and financial ecosystems.
Centrika also owns KeyKiosk and the TiCQet App which issues event tickets in Rwanda and beyond.
Where can I get the SafariBus card?
Currently, the SafariBus cards can be obtained from Nyabugogo, Kimironko, Musanze bus stations, Gikondo (Cegem, Merez 2, Maranathan and Bwerankori), Vunga, Cyanika, Kinigi and at Centrika Office at CHIC building.
The company says new locations for issuance will be communicated as they are opened.
What do I need to get the card?
People who want the card are asked to present their ID or passport and phone number. For minors, to get the card, they are required to present the ID card of their parent or guardian.
How do I top up my card?
Centrika’s agents have been deployed at the bus stations and other locations to do top-up services for users. People can also top up using Visa card, MasterCard, and Centrika’s Key Kiosk to recharge.
Alternatively, they can recharge it using their mobile money/Airtel money wallets, without necessarily having connected the mobile number to the card.