Interswitch Group, the Nigeria Pan-African integrated digital payments and commerce company, has signed a multi-billion Naira deal with Bekoz UK Ltd, a British transport ticketing company, to enhance transportation ticketing in Nigeria.
The deal, which is worth £56 million (approx. N26billion), would leverage British technology to keep Nigeria’s commuters on the move through the launch of three products developed exclusively for the Nigerian market – the BeCard, the BeVal and the BeReader, with scope to expand this offer throughout Africa.
The BeCard is a regular shaped card – like any bank card or the Oyster card in London. The BeVal is the device that is installed on the buses where the passenger taps on – just like on the London buses, while BeReader is the mechanism that makes all these work.
Commenting on the partnership, Akeem Lawal, Divisional CEO for Payment Processing at Interswitch highlighted the tremendous potential the partnership offers for revolutionising the transportation system with attendant impact on millions of commuters in Nigeria.
He said: “Interswitch believes that the transport system in Nigeria, Africa’s largest consumer market, is ready for innovation. This partnership is a key and timely milestone in our industry vertical markets’ focus. It is highly compatible with our vision for Interswitch Transport Solutions (Smartmove) which is essentially to progressively facilitate a multi-modal and multi-operator transportation system underpinned by best-in-class technology.
“This not only optimizes available infrastructural capacity, but also remarkably improves user experience for all parties in the transport and mobility ecosystem. Our partners, Bekoz, bring their expertise and experience to bear, and we are extremely optimistic about the multiplier effects that this initiative will ultimately have on economic activities across the nation,” he added.
Speaking in Abuja, at the signing ceremony Jeremy Hunt, the British foreign secretary announced that Bekoz would be providing the contactless transit token technology and associated electronic equipment that allows people to travel around Nigeria’s large and varied transport infrastructure, similar to London’s Oyster system. However this would be tailored to Nigeria’s unique needs.
Also commenting, Jack Dangoor, CEO of Bekoz said, “We are delighted to collaborate with Interswitch to deliver a British-made fully custom transport ticketing system for Nigeria and other parts of Africa.’’
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