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Nairobi extends use of electronic payment for parking

Nairobi’s  transition to a cashless payment system for parking on Wednesday deepened in the Central Business District (CBD) even as users complained of serious technical hitches.

Service provider Jambo Pay attributed the hitches to insufficient mastery of the system by parking attendants.

The county government said it had stopped the use of printed parking tickets in the CBD as  it deepened the transition to e-payment.

“We experienced delays in the system but this was majorly because most of the parking attendants are not well educated and therefore have challenges using the system,” said Danson Muchemi, CEO of Webtribe, the company that owns the Jambo Pay payment platform.

Jambo Pay said  it was surprised that most  parking attendants could still not use the system smoothly despite undergoing training  in recent months.

WRONG FOOTED

Jambo Pay employees have on several occasions been forced to go out to the streets to help parking attendants with the work.

Many motorists were also wrong footed having been unaware of the new parking payment rules while some were not well versed with the technology.

“Most motorists are shocked when we refused to issue tickets. Most also don’t know how to use the e-payment system,” said a parking attendant on Kenyatta Avenue.

Jambo Pay  said the motorists were mainly victims of inadequate public sensitisation,  which is the responsibility of the county government.

City Hall, however, insisted that it had conducted enough sensitisation campaigns before the roll out.

“We handed out flyers and also run advertisements for the past one month at prime time on electronic media,” said Benta Ogot, the ICT director.

TOTAL BAN

City Hall has imposed total ban on use of printed tickets in the CBD to speed up the uptake of cashless payment.

Kimathi Street, Koinange, Kenyatta Avenue and Banda are some of the streets that are now using the e-payment platform.

For City Hall, the e-payment system comes with the additional advantage of delivering instant revenue to its coffers.

The attendants are also able to check on the number of transactions they have conducted and total value of transactions.

It also emerged that most parking attendants were facing the challenge of their devices running out of charge.

“We are setting up a charging station at City Hall so that all gadgets can be charged from a central place. However, the problem we are experiencing is because the attendants are charging the gadgets at their homes overnight, which sometimes they might forget or may not be fully charged,” said Ms Ogot.

Mr Muchemi says the gadgets have a battery life of one and a half days.