The primary payment method of using a taxi is cash and digital apps are not an exception. However, the digital age provides for credit/debit card payment as well as Mobile Money (Mpesa). Customers are at liberty to choose their preferred payment method and request a ride. The availability of several payment options is to cater for every kind of customer. Business accounts such as Uber Business provide a dashboard where all company rides can be tracked and cashless payments are advantageous. Cashless payments are also beneficial for tourists in new countries and they might not have enough local currency.
To bring in more customers, the taxi players are always incentivizing their customers with promos when using their services. For example, in January 2020, there was a 50% discount on all rides on Bolt in a bid to attract customers. However, this promo had a catch; it was only for in-app payments i.e. Mobile Money and Credit/Debit Card options. Those paying cash had to contend with paying the full amount. I took advantage of this and enjoyed the discount throughout the month lest for four occasions where my ride requests were turned down. I was using my credit card for all of my rides.
On each of these four occasions, the driver noted that they don’t accept card rides. Being the curious cat that I am, I decided to probe further and find why. One of the drivers noted that the concept of cashless payment did not make sense to him. The third driver I interviewed pointed out that cashless payment was full of cons and he did not trust it one bit. Information Systems Researcher Contrasting it with developed regions where cashless systems are the order of the day, Brett Scott argues in his article that the efforts made towards cashless society are a form of ‘nudging’ and he equates it to classical Marxist ideas of ‘hegemony’ by Antonio Gramsci. Antonio notes that powerful institutions can condition the cultural and the economic environment and make them feel like it is a natural and inevitable situation hence adopt it.