A new cashless transport technology that will help passengers using commercial motorcycles, taxi-moto, to pay using mobile phones and other cashless platforms is set to be rolled out next month.
The system, ‘Yego Moto,’ is owned by Singaporean investors and will use Global Positioning System (GPS) devices that will be installed on motorcycles to deliver information about the journey covered and will be connected to passenger’s phone, according to officials.
Addressing the media on Friday, Karanvir Singh, the chief executive and managing director of Yego Innovation Ltd, said the system is aimed at promoting cashless economy and helps both passengers and operators benefit from the technology in various aspects and will encourage fairness between both parties.
Some of the taxi-moto operators at times feel that because it is a competitive environment, they have to charge high fares.
“We have a meter-reader that shows you the distance covered and how much time was spent on the road then automatically calculate to come up with the fare,” he said.
“One can pay by mobile money system, but we will also soon introduce credit and debit cards from banks,” he said.
The total investment in the system, according to management, is worth $14 million (about Rwf11bn) and they say they expect returns in four to five years.
Installation of the system on motorcycles will be free.
There will also be no charges whenever the passenger pays with mobile money as the company has already worked it out with telecommunications companies.
This, Singh said, is expected to encourage the culture of saving.
“Basically, when the money is paid by a client to us, it will be transferred to the motorists via mobile money or to their bank account, and if the rider gets money, they will be able to do savings,” he noted.
Taxi-moto operators welcomed the system with mixed reactions, wondering if it will really benefit them, and called for concerned parties to do deep consultations before they allow it to start.
David Niyomugabo, a Taxi-Moto operator from Gasabo District, said this could lead to wastage of time, which may affect their business.
“It would have been better if it was just like Tap & Go as we see it with the buses but here it is different. We might end up counting losses because valuable time is spent on the passenger to process the payment in case of those using mobile money. And what if there are network issues?” he wondered.
There are more than 240 cooperatives for taxi-moto operators countrywide and these bring together over 19,500 members, the biggest number being in Kigali.