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Kenya Railways phases out cash payment for Madaraka Express

The Kenya Railways Corporation has phased out the use of cash in paying for tickets at all the Madaraka Express stations.

The management in a notice said that effective on Wednesday February 1, 2023 the only acceptable payment modes would be mobile wallets or credit cards.

“We wish to notify our customers and general public that effective February 1, 2023, we will no longer be accepting cash for purchase of tickets at all Madaraka Express Passenger Service Stations,” Kenya Railways said in the notice.

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The use of cashless payments has been commended for curbing theft of public monies, as it reduces human interaction with money.

This move towards a cashless system is expected to improve the efficiency and convenience of the ticketing process for customers, enhance security and reduce the risk of fraud.

This new development is in line with the Kenya Kwanza administration’s plan to digitize all government services, to enhance service delivery.

The Chinese-built railway that has been in operation since 2017 has been using a hybrid payment system that involves cash, mobile money, and plastic money.

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In 2017, Madaraka Express introduced an SMS-based payment platform utilizing USSD code *639# for passengers to book and pay for tickets through their mobile phones.

The code enables passengers to reserve seats, pay, and even cancel tickets for the Madaraka Express.

Kenya Railways has recently been highly alert over online fraudsters targeting SGR passengers.

In a statement in October 2021, Kenya Railways said fraudsters behind the scam posed as corporation employees to defraud Madaraka Express customers.

The scammers are said to lure their potential victims through phone calls, text messages, and social media posts and purport to offer ticket cancellation and refund services.

The management urged members of the public to be on the lookout and not to comply with requests to share personal information.

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