its services, Safe
boda, a mobile based Boda boda service provider, promoted the cashless option. This option allows the client to pay
for a ride using money from their mobile wallet. The money is topped from the client’s mobile
money account to the mobile wallet on the Safe boda app, which can also be used
to buy airtime.
cashless option is fast becoming a thing of the past, as most Safe riders
insist on cash payment. A number of Safe
boda clients interviewed by URN, say whenever they order for a ride, the riders
ask them whether they have cash before they show up. The riders cancel clients
who would prefer using the cashless option. According to Safe boda, the cashless was initially created to help the
riders save unlike when they get cash in their hands.
Clients too would benefit from the cashless transaction because of the
promotional offers and saving time wasted searching for change. Maureen Aguti, a
regular Safe boda user says that at times it is a necessary option when one is
out of cash. She however, says that to her dismay the riders lash at her for
using the cashless option.
//Cue in: “If you are…
Cue out: …from the app.”//
Daniel Wambi, another regular Safe boda user, says that he gave up on the
cashless option after being abused by a rider for using the system. “After the ride, I walked away telling the guy
it was cashless payment. The guy retaliated with abusive words,” he said.
Ngobi Sinyalo, a safe
boda rider reasons that some Safe boda riders avoid using the cashless option
because they have debts on their accounts with the company. Any amount of money
loaded onto their wallet would be deducted to clear the debt.
//Cue in: “Waliwo abatayagala kukwata….
Cue out: … nasasula ebanja lyaabwe.”//
Denis Kiiza, another rider who is utterly dismissive of the cashless payment system
says that it is not profitable for them especially on long distances as cash
//Cue in: “Other than kansasule ….
Cue out: …kiri mu cashless”//
He says that one receiving Shillings 10, 000 in cash would have it as a whole,
other than those using the cashless option who would get Shillings 8, 500 after
deductions. However, a few Safe boda riders like Musa Kakooza still uses the cashless
option claiming that despite the profit difference between the cashless and
cash options, there are benefits such as quick and convenient topping up of
airtime to call clients in addition to buying fuel at subsided costs off the
//Cue in: “Kweyambisa nga oba…
Cue out: …nengenda nenkola ejange”//
Ricky Rapa-Thompson, the Safe boda Co- founder says that this came after the
lock down, which affected many of their riders financially.
“One of the
things our population is under estimating is the effect of Covid-19. Our riders
have got into a difficult situation where they have loans they acquired before
in form of bike loans, school fees and insurance. However the income as of
today dropped from Ugshs.50, 000 per day to Ugshs. 27, 000. Therefore riders are
forced to work to earn to serve their immediate needs with cash which gives a
little more profit,” Ricky notes.
However, he also adds that as a company they are urging the government to once
again open up the business as it was for such gaps to be closed. Safe Boda is
one of the fast-growing start-up businesses in the boda-boda transport service
that brought innovation to the growing motorcycle taxi industry in Uganda and
The community of
riders use mobile phone technology to bring services to the people where one
makes an order for the ride, right on their handsets.