Uganda’s biggest ride-hailing company SafeBoda last week on Wednesday 23rd March officially launched its payment service in an event that was held at Lazio’s bar and restaurant in Kololo. The launch was attended by a wide range of Uganda’s tech, government, and finance community with the chief guest being the head of the Bank of Uganda National Payments (NPS) Systems Mr.Mackay Aomu. It should be remembered that the company acquired its NPS license from the Bank of Uganda at the beginning of the year.
Speaking at the event Mr. Mackay commended the tremendous effort that SafeBoda has taken in its journey as a Ugandan tech start-up which first revolutionized the informal sector of Boda Bodas making sure that Boda Boda serves men and women get digitized.
‘We were excited when we saw the SafeBoda app. It has been long overdue. As Bank of Uganda we hope to extend digitization to Agricultural and social services, this is the new industrial revolution and no one should be left behind.’ Mackay Aomu, the Director of National Payments Systems at the Bank of Uganda said.
SafeBoda as a company was launched over 7 years ago starting out with a mission to change the way people were consuming boda boda transport services. During that time there was hardly any company or boda boda service/group that was offering a helmet for the safety of their passengers. The entry of SafeBoda into the motorcycle taxi business brought a new horizon in the industry because for the first time people were able to see disciplined riders who would stop at the traffic lights and ride with care.
“Our ambition is to help Ugandans be able to receive better travel and payment services with safety, affordability and convenience as our key value propositions. Now on the SafeBoda app, a customer will be able to order affordable safe rides, pay their bills for so little, buy airtime and receive a cashback of 10% to mention but a few. Our mobile payments service is now open for all customers to use and enjoy the convenience and affordability that comes with it.” Said Ricky Rapa Thomson, Co-Founder and Director of Ops at SafeBoda
Towards the end of last year, SafeBoda was the company that received funding from Google’s 50$ million Africa Investment Fund which was to help the company scale its activities in both Uganda and Lagos. Part of the objectives of the fund was to see the company launch its fintech service and make an impact on digital financial inclusion.
With the launch of its mobile money payments, SafeBoda will now compete with the conventional fintech players like the telecoms and a range of app-based competitors in the same space. SafeBoda has in the recent past launched a number of services on the app like Pay Bills which caters to pay-tv providers like StarTimes and Dstv, National Water & Sewerage plus the Umeme bills. What is unique is that the company put out an aggressive campaign charging only 1 shilling for every bill paid regardless of whether the bill amount is 1 million or two thousand shillings.
With the official launch of its payment services out of the way, we can now expect to see the company get more aggressive in this sector with campaigns targeted towards customers to try out the service.