Over 500,000 daily commuters on the Lagos Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system can now board buses using a contactless card payment system.
It is an enhancement which makes the Lagos Connect card that was launched last November by Governor Akinwunmi Ambode usable on mass transit systems anywhere in the world.
Powered by Lagos State, LAMATA, Primero Transport Limited and Sterling Bank Plc, the enhanced electronic payment system was launched in partnership with some leading global payment and technology companies – Mikroelektronica, MasterCard, E-Purse Systems, Monet Plus, NIBSS, Epay-plus and SecureID in Lagos.
It allows commuters who ride on BRT buses to make payments via their Lagos Connect contactless cards powered by Farepay that have either been pre-loaded or linked to a funded bank account.
Speaking during the launch, theManaging Director/Chief Executive Officer, Sterling Bank, Mr. Abubakar Suleiman, said the bank was focused on achieving its primary role of financial intermediation through intervention in sectors that will create jobs and bring about economic growth for the country.
He identified such sectors as health, education, agriculture, renewable energy, and transport.
Abubakar stated that the bank was proud to collaborate with Lagos State, LAMATA, Primero, E-Purse Systems and MasterCard to launch the multi-modal contactless payment card for use on mass transit buses, ferries, and trains in the Lagos metropolis.
“This is another major step forward in enhancing the commuting experience and social well-being of more than 80 percent of Lagos residents who rely on public transport daily.
“Sterling Bank is committed to improving standards in a sector that is crucial of driver economic growth and determinant of social well-being for both urban and rural residents.
“We are driven by the understanding that an efficient transport system facilitates trade, reduces poverty, creates economic and social opportunities while enhancing human development through greater mobility.
“Working with our partners, our vision over the next few years is to understand the peculiarities of various locations and replicate this kind of solution across the nation.
“Transformation of the transport value chain is imperative for us at Sterling Bank,” he said.
He commended the Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode for creating the enabling environment with the launch of the Lagos Connect Card in November 2017, which has made the enhancement of the system to EMV standard possible thereby putting Lagos amongst the most advanced cities for transit payments globally.
Also speaking at the event, the Chairman, Primero Transport Limited, Chief Demola Seriki described the launch of the contactless payment system as symbolic. “It is indicative of efforts to eliminate the inefficiencies associated with public transportation in Lagos.
“A lot of work is being put into transforming public transportation into a world-class and sustainable industry which brings comfort to commuters and creates economic and social opportunities,” he added.
On her part, the Vice President and Area Business Head, West Africa, Mastercard, Omokehinde Adebanjo said: “Technology has the potential to shape the way African’s live, and the importance of removing cash from key sectors remains a critical focus for Lagos State and the Federal Government of Nigeria.
“The contactless solution has the potential of not only solving challenges faced by other channels of transport, but it can also be easily implemented in sectors such as retail and government services.”