I was aboard a CitiHoppa yesterday when the person seated next to me asked the conducter if he could pay via his Beba card. I didn’t really pay much attention to what followed but later on, I googled about it and found Beba.co.ke.
In their own words, The Beba card is a smart card that makes it easy to pay for bus fare and helps you save money. It’s convenient because you don’t have to worry about getting change.
- To use your Beba card, you just tap your card on the card reader to pay.
- You can get a Beba card for yourself, family members or coworkers.
What really got my attention, though, was their Terms of Service. Beba.co.ke is a product offered locally by Google that utilises the much talked about Near Field Communications (NFC) technology.
NFC is not new. It is based on technologies that have been around for nearly two decades. NFC allows two devices to communicate when they are placed near each other (or when they touch each other). NFC technology is already big in Japan – you can use your NFC-enabled phone to buy train tickets in Tokyo or as a contactless payment system.
My guess is that the Beba card is an experiment by Google to try and determine whether this technology can actually work locally. If successful, in theory we could all get similar cards and use them not only for bus tickets but to pay for meals, for shopping at supermarkets, and anything else, really. Exciting, eh?
Learn more: What is NFC, and why do we care?
What do you think of this?