In May 2013, Google launched a cashless, prepaid card system for the city’s public transport, called BebaPay. Conductors are equipped with small, NFC (near—field communication) enabled smartphones. Passengers simply tap their BebaPay card to the phone. Money is then digitally transferred from the card to the phone, and passengers get a message on their phone confirming the transaction.
The physical BebaPay cards can be purchased and topped up with credit at various locations across the city. The service doesn’t require a bank account – just a Google account and the cards and phones Work without an internet connection.
BebaPay is part of Google’s broader strategy to simplify payments and improve lives of people in emerging markets.
Eventually BebaPay will not just be used for transportation, but for payment services across the city – from taxis, to public toilets and small retail kiosks.