With the main objective of increasing access to regional bus users in Addis Ababa, Kifiya Financial Technologies, one of the major payment service providers in Ethiopia, added 80 additional e-ticketing agents in all four corners of the city.
The company said the service is brought to the customers in partnership with the association who owns Ager Aquarach (interregional) buses and the Federal Transport Authority (FTA).
The expansion followed last month‟s launching of the service in five long distance bus terminals in Addis Ababa. Branded “Yene Guzo‟ (My Journey) – Kifiya‟s new electronic advance booking, payment and ticketing system for mass transit aims to modernize and solve the various challenges faced by long distance travelers.
The new electronic advance booking, payment and ticketing service becomes a reality after Kifiya entered in to a business to business agreement with 22 bus owners associations, which cumulatively own 1,500 long distance buses – branded – „Ager Aquarach‟.
The deal was ushered in by Federal Transport Authority, which is in charge of regulating and modernizing the sector.
“Currently we are activating 80 additional agents in all sub cities of Addis Ababa, which will add convenience for every customer. And very soon the service will also be started in the 34 „Lehulu‟ centers across the city,” says Netsanet Raya, operations Manager of Kifiya Financial Technologies.
“Since the launching of the new service we have been serving 20,000 customers a day,” he said, indicating that after taking lessons from the implementation of Yene Guzo in Addis Ababa, Kifiya will also expand the services to other regions of the country which will allow for a complete two way ticketing and advance booking system.
In addition, the implementation of this project at the terminal level has created job opportunities for more than 200 individuals in various positions such as Ticket Officers, Terminal Coordinators, Accountants etc. and will, increase revenue streams for the 80 new agents.
The 80 agents in Addis Ababa are found almost in all parts of the city scattered across Kolfe Keraniyo, Bole, Addis Ketema, Kirkos, Yeka, Arada, Akaki Kaliti, Legetafto, Ledeta, Nefas Silk Lafto and Gulele areas, according to Mr. Netsanet.
“Although there are challenges we are pleased with the progress of the project in solving problems and addressing customers‟ dissatisfaction,” said Berhane Ambaye from the bus owners association of Ethiopia.
In addition to internet connection, Kifiya‟s new mass transit payment, ticketing and advance booking service – Yene Guzo – uses multiple technologies including text messaging (USSD), 3D data connectivity as well as backup generators in major bus terminals in case of power outages, the company said in a press statement.
Kifiya currently employs a total of 850 employees across the country (with 130 at head office).
The company is known for its success on „Lehulu‟ – modernizing major utility payment collections for water, electricity and telephone; Lehulu now includes other payment services under one window.
Launched in 2013 in Addis Ababa, Lehulu is realized through an innovative PublicPrivate-Partnership (PPP) where Kifiya joined hands with government service providers and regulators – Ethio-telecom, Ethiopian Electric Power, Addis Ababa Water and Sewerage Authority and Ministry of Communications and Information Technologies.
Kifiya has been at the forefront of modernizing payment services for millions of Ethiopians and continues to make contribution to simplifying and improving the lives of people by making transactions simple, affordable, secure and within reach.