Rwanda: Bus Company Introduces Electronic Payment


A commuter bus service company, Kigali Bus Services (KBS), effective today started issuing electronic cards for its passengers, a technology that is the first of its kind in the Great Lakes region.

According to the company's marketing manager, Thierry Ngarambe, the service will relieve passengers the risk of having to travel with money in their pocket and help them with effective budgeting.

Ngarambe also said that the cards, known as twende card are in two categories; e-pass which allows a passenger to load any amount of money from Rwf 200 to 60,000 which is the maximum and seasonal card which ranges from Rwf10,000 valid for one month and to 60,000 for six months. They can be accessed through mobile phone agents, FINA Bank, KBS bus conductors and at the Union Trade Centre.

He explained that the system was in line with the government policies of technological advancement and environmental cleanliness and as well fulfilling the Central Bank campaign of discouraging people to move with cash in their pockets. The system, according to Ngarambe will also help the company maximize profits due to cases of dishonest taxi touts.

"This is the most convenient way to achieve efficiency, the card can be used by a passenger swiping it in an electronic device at the bus entrance and deducts the fare automatically for e-passes and the date of expiry for a seasonal card," he said.

Ngarambe also revealed that the use of paper tickets will not be immediately stopped but passengers using the new system will given priority. He further pointed that a 20 percent discount is guaranteed for the first season card buyers.

In case of one's card loss or misplacement, passengers are assured of refund with a new card loaded with the previous amount only after the owner had reported the loss to the management who will then cancel the lost card.