ZUPCO is promoting a cashless society through encouraging it’s customers to use tap cards for paying their fares instead of cash. A tap card is card that one can use to make a payment by simply tapping (rather than ‘swiping’), courtesy of Near Field Communication (NFC) technology.
Tap cards are a win-win product for both ZUPCO and passengers. It’s allowing ZUPCO to get passengers aboard quickly as they only “tap” and passengers don’t have to buy cash to pay for their ZUPCO fares as the card can be funded using a bank account or mobile wallet.
Despite the convenience the card has brought to its users, it’s not yet widely used by ZUPCO passengers. So ZUPCO now wants bring retail outlets a little closer to passengers to urge them to buy and use the tap cards. ZUPCO Acting Chief Executive, Everisto Madangwa said
The kiosks where people will be buying the tap cards from are to be set at major pick up points like Market Square. Copacabana and Simon Muzenda Termini in Harare.
The kiosks are expected to be in operation beginning next week and Zupco officials will be assisting the public at the points.
We are encouraging people to buy tap cards as it is convenient for everyone. We want to promote a cashless society.
Besides the convenience of not having to look for cash and pay a premium to get cash, tap card users/passengers enjoy preferential treatment from ZUPCO. The preferential treatment comes in the form of boarding a ZUPCO bus before anyone without a tapcard does- which is a major drawcard to have the card because there are so many people who are using ZUPCO these days such that the queues for boarding the buses are super long. However, this favour to tap card holders has drawn the ire of Passengers Association of Zimbabwe (PAZ) which said:
PAZ is also concerned with the fact that ZUPCO is prioritising passengers with tap and go cards such that those who will be paying with cash either get left behind or are the last to board the bus. Some of the passengers who will be paying with cash, at times would have been the first ones on the queue. The purchasing of tap and go cards should not be through this form of duress
Even with the benefits that comes with card, not everybody has kind words for this new technology. And I must say that what PAZ is saying is true, it’s unfair for folks who have been sweating in the heat whilst in the queue to be jumped over by someone who has a tap card. I, for one, wouldn’t feel comfy to get in the bus before people who have been waiting for 1 hour for the bus before I came. Anyways, hopefully everybody gets the tap card and there won’t be preferential treatment because of having one. In that case, why would anyone still want to use the tap card? Well, after preferential treatment is subtracted from the list of benefits passengers can enjoy, they will still hold on to the tap card to avoid the expense of buying cash to pay for the bus fare.
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