I was in between two people, all peering at the phone, figuring out how to complete a ride with the Opay app, it was my first time using OPay, so also the newbie rider who picked me up. We were lucky to find a young man who was now a regular user.

The problem, a convergence of internet and uncertainty, made it hard for the rider to receive his ride fare.

Then I began to think about how the motorcyclist tech start-ups were overriding infrastructural decadence to make their solutions available and even usable. The decadence we complain about every day, mobile network is poor, mobile data is high! And even more, how they have been able to convince and convert a troop of local bike riders to become OPay riders. While taking my rides, I spoke with a few of the riders to understand the process.

Opay, a new motorcycling based start-up that launched on the first of August began by piercing through the congested Lagos market just right after Gokada and Max.ng, and several others in what seem to be an already congested market. Opay took a different strategy by launching in a less competitive market – Ogun State.

On the 1st of August Opay announced it’s launch in the streets of Abeokuta city. For just fifty naira, users can take a ride to anywhere in the city.

This strategy is to create a rapid brand awareness for users. This strategy worked as several commuters switched to the Opay app for their daily commute.

On the other end are the riders, who do not seem to be earning much from this regularized bonus strategy employed by Opay. We reached out to them to know why they prefer Opay to their usual business model.

“Unlike normal riders, we are connected to commuters and that reduces the stress of finding passengers on our part. We also make a lot of money in the process” – Odekunle Dayo, Opay rider

HOW TO BE A RIDER ON OPAY

As was told, interested riders visit the Opay office where they get registered, get their bike plate.

Next, Opay representative visit interested riders at their home, to confirm their address

Riders are then trained for a day, after passing specific steps including a reading test, they are then given a kit, which include helmets, a jacket and packets of hair nets.

Opay took an innovative approach, to provide riders with a smart phone, which can be paid for over a spread of 90 days in daily installments of 300 naira.

After a ride, bikers are paid through their ORide account, funds are transferred to their Opay account by the next morning which they can cash out to their bank account at any time.

“On an average day, I take an average of 22 – 30 rides. 30 Opay rides in a day” – Opay Rider

HOW TO BE A USER ON OPAY

Most new users are a bit evasive to use the Opay app. But the process for beginners is quite easy, even if the app is majorly used for commuters, creators of the app intend for the app to be some sort of WeChat for Nigerians. Users will be able to use the app to order food, pay bills, make transfer, save and lot’s more. The app is intended to be a one stop app for all transaction, an all on in transaction.

There is still a lot of time for us to see how this would turn out.

How to use the app:

1. Download the Opay app

2. All through, your registered number would be used in almost all transaction, so use one you’re conversant with.

3. Next, an OTP is sent via SMS or email in which you input

4. To order a ride, tap on “Take a Ride” on the app.

5. Pick two known locations as destination and pick up

6. Complete ride and pay through your Opay wallet or through your account.

Payment on the app was a bit tricky, with the slow internet speed, the app page may not load quickly for payment. Wallets can only be loaded only from a user’s banking App, which can be quite tacky if you don’t use a bank app. Wallets can also be loaded through transfers, a rider or user can transfer to another user for cash.

Discount promo ends on the 30th of August, the estimated billing is shown at every ride to get users used to the regular billing after the close of August discount. After populating the ‘’Okada” market in Ogun State, we are on the lookout of how this start-up will eventually turn out after this subsidy is removed.

Will commuters still user the app?

Will riders be willing to overlook expenses on mobile data and calls?

What would be the response after the subsidy is removed? Will users pay for an extra bit of luxury? Till then, we are glad that this innovative start-up is disrupting tradition, creating solutions and proving that anything can happen, even in this rock city.