Photograph — endgadget

National Microfinance Bank Plc has partnered with MasterCard to provide commercial motorcycle riders (boda-boda riders) with a digital payment solution in Tanzania. The cashless mobile technology, via Masterpass QR, is set to enable riders receive payments from customers directly to their NMB bank accounts. This initiative is a buildup to MasterCard’s past collaborations for a cashless society.

The partnership is “fully supported by the government as it now provides access to suitable and secure payment options for the boda-boda community whilst also making a positive contribution to the country’s economy,” a statement by Jenista Mhagama, Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office (Policy, Parliamentary Affairs, Labour, Employment, Youth and the Disabled) reads.

The service will first be launched in Dar es Salaam and subsequently in Mwanza, Arusha, Ruvuma, Dodoma and Mbeya in the coming weeks.

MasterCard is one of the chief financial institutions in Tanzania that works tirelessly to ensure that the country achieves its goal of a cashless society. 

In a bid to facilitate the country’s ambition to become a cashless economy, MasterCard signed a collaborative pact with Selcom in 2018 to introduce a variety of payment solutions in the country. 

Masterpass QR would be used to provide the riders with a safe and secure payment platform that includes them in the country’s financial ecosystem and enables them to track their incomes. 

According to Ruth Zaipuna, NMB Bank’s Acting Managing Director, “the digitization of boda-boda payments is a key component of NMB’s drive to enhance financial inclusion within the communities and among its customers. We all understand the obvious security risks that come with handling cash.”

It would also encourage the use of technology by helping customers conveniently and safely pay for trips through the QR code scan or by using a USSD option on their mobile phone.

“Tanzanians are technologically savvy and have a proven appetite for digital payments. This partnership will not only provide boda-boda drivers and customers with a seamless, superior payments experience but is also a significant step towards creating a cashless economy across the country,” said Adam Jones, MasterCard’s Area Business Head East Africa in a statement. 

To pay for a ride with the Masterpass QR, a passenger simply scans a QR code on the NMB Mkononi app. They can also pay through phone feature by just simply dialling *150*66# to access the NMB Mobile menu, select ‘payment services’ and select ‘MasterCard QR’.

Boda-bodas are motorcycle taxis commonly found in East Africa. So far, over 1,000 boda-boda riders have been trained on the use of the instant QR payment on mobile. This goes to show its simplicity, convenience and other benefits. NMB plans to reach over 75,000 riders in the next one year.

By Ishioma Eni.

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