Touch and Pay Technologies [TAP], a Nigerian fintech company and leading processor of micro-transactions in Africa, has announced the democratization of interstate travel from Nigeria’s largest city, Lagos, to other parts of the country. It is now possible for passengers to pay for their trips using the Cowry app, even if they are travelling through multiple states in the country. The service is now available for all formal and informal interstate travel operators within the city.
TAP’s user-friendly interstate booking function on the Cowry app automates the payment and allocation of seats and gathers valuable data on passenger booking and travel habits for use by transport companies to help enhance their operations.
Today, there are over a million interstate trips daily in the country, with 40% of trips emanating or terminating in Lagos State. Passengers now have the option to interact with TAP’s state-of-the-art ticketing and booking system each year without the need for cash. The new digital technology prioritizes environmental sustainability and improves service delivery.
In addition to the launch of the digital payment solution for interstate travel, TAP has also partnered with the Lagos State Ministry of Transportation to accredit and vet all inter-city bus parks within the state. This provides a unified system for regulating transportation routes, schedules, capacities, and prices which have been challenging for the state government and operators before now.
The proposed transportation system aims to improve efficiency, safety, and security by introducing several key features, such as standard and licensed parks and a single dashboard for emergency and quick responses. Bus owners and drivers will benefit from a cashless system and access to bus financing from transport data, along with new incentives for mobility companies to participate. Commuters will have access to a single aggregated platform for booking, a cashless system, and data and credit advance systems for passenger trips. Third-party systems and players will have new opportunities to participate through a new platform that integrates credit, private bus owners, and mobility companies, which will enhance the overall efficiency of the system.
TAP’s proprietary software will manage and process payments for parks and transportation in the state while providing secure identification for its commuters and aggregating its APIs into the Cowry Card mobile application. Under the partnership, TAP will provide efficient micro-transaction solutions to state government, fleet owners, bus drivers and union-management stakeholders, with the aim of minimising revenue losses caused by outdated booking methods. By addressing the demands of 21st-century Nigerian travellers, passengers now have access to real-time transport availability and departure times, the ability to pre-book and reserve seats, the opportunity to make pricing comparisons, and increased protection against theft and bribery. Partnerships with insurance providers also offer the protection of personal belongings for travellers.
Commenting on the project, Olamide Afolabi, Co-founder and CEO of Touch and Pay Technologies, said: “TAP is proud to be the first service to level the playing field when it comes to transportation in Lagos. Commuters often need to reserve tickets in advance to avoid waiting in lines. In the past, bus passengers had to physically visit counters and engage with attendants to book and pay for their trips. This is no longer the case. Customers taking an interstate trip can now access the details of their journey, including the ability to buy tickets and select the seats of their choice, without ever leaving the comfort of their homes”.
Michael Oluwole, the co-founder and Chief Growth Officer of Touch and Pay Technologies, stated: “Our interstate booking feature offers commuters convenience and enables transport providers to invest in enhancing interstate travel. By reducing the need for cash transactions, transportation companies can streamline their operations and reduce expenses. Our new app can be viewed as a win-win for both commuters and transport providers, as it contributes to a more effective and comfortable public transportation system.”
Founded in 2019, by Olamide Afolabi, Michael Oluwole and Kabir Yabo, TAP was the first payment company in Nigeria to provide payment infrastructure that allowed contactless payment cards to be used on buses and ferries. The company continues its record of innovation by enabling contactless payment cards for interstate commuting in Nigeria. TAP is advancing financial inclusion among the mostly unbanked population with its effective processing of micropayments ranging from 10 cents to $10.