It is great we are living in an era where we can hail a taxi easily through an app and later on can pay for the ride either via a debit card or cash. This works well in developed countries where people are used to paying in this way, but in developing countries, payment methods like using cards is not a wide practice.
Developing countries however have their own idiosyncratic ways of payment and one big one is mobile payments. MPESA is the most visible of the mobile payments and it is used by 26 million users in Kenya as of the last financial results by Safaricom.
Although mobile money payments like MPESA is incredibly popular in the Kenyan market, ride sharing platforms have not embraced it, well until now.
Taxify announced that they are the first ride hailing service to integrate MPESA as a payment method.
“We are always on the lookout on how to intensely localize the experience of our application across the cities we operate in. We take time to learn what works for each city and take extra steps to integrate a city’s culture into how the application works,” Alex Mwaura, City Manager was quoted as saying. “Taxify is a lifestyle application and we are constantly seeking ways to incorporate it more easily into our users’ lives.”
Sadly, Taxify says this feature is currently available only to iOS users and will be gradually rolled out to Android users. However in Kenya, majority of smartphone users use Android phones. I asked when if there is a time frame for when we can see MPESA payments integration on the Android phone and a spokesperson said that Android users will have the feature available in a few weeks although they don’t have an exact date for this.
This is big and it may make people use Taxify more than other platforms which are yet t integrate this feature on their platforms.