Univasa, an indigenous ride-hailing company in Nigeria, launched Verify and Pay, an innovative digital payment system aimed at reshaping the transport system in Nigeria, on Friday, March 4, 2022.
Through Verify and Pay, passengers hailing a cab can scan the barcode on the taxi to confirm the details of the driver and the vehicle, input their destination to check and negotiate fares, and select preferred payment options such as card payments or USSD.
The platform was launched at the Lagos State Taxi Driver & Cab Operators Association (LSTDCOA) headquarters, Oshodi, Lagos. The event was graced by Mr Otunba Taiwo Omolekan, President, LSTDCOA; Honorable Mike Oladipupo, general secretary of LSTDCOA, and other high-ranking members of LSTDCOA.
Comrade Idris, President of Professional E-Hailing Drivers and Private-owners Association (PEDPA), Mr Ayodele Kumolu, representative, Universal Insurance plc, and Mr Israel Ifedayo, Mizala tech partner, were also present at the event.
The Verify and Pay platform is a new face to transportation in Nigeria; currently, it has been launched for the Lagos Yellow Cabs but will also cut across other forms of transport within the state, Abuja, Kano and Port Harcourt before the end of the year.
Mr Otunba, the president of LSTDCOA, gave a breakdown of the journey so far for taxi drivers. He said that he has been working on providing solutions to the issues affecting taxi drivers and their services.
He added that technology has to be embraced to prevent the extinction of yellow taxi cabs in Lagos state.
Speaking at the event, CEO of Univasa, Dr Ben Adeniyi, said, "The verify and pay platform initiative was born out of the need to be an "Enabler" to service providers and consumers.
For us at Univasa, providing innovative services is at the helm of our operations, and we continue to hold it as a top priority.
As a driver-partner with Univasa, you get to enjoy the convenience of receiving your payments instantly with our instant withdrawal feature, so "Cash or Card e no matter" as we like to say and for the riders, we are offering you a chance to own your experience while hailing a ride".
Comrade Idris gave a brief speech, where he called for solidarity between members of LSTDCOA and PEDPA as they stand to benefit from each other.
Mr Ayodele Kumolu, the representative of Universal Insurance plc, also spoke in detail about their flexible insurance packages. Drivers can apply and make payments in instalments, either a weekly, monthly or yearly package.
Additionally, Univasa rolled out its Drive-to-Own empowerment program, which allows drivers on the Univasa ride-hailing app to pick a Univasa car as their vehicle of choice to work, make daily remittances for a duration of 18-24months, which will be deducted from their earnings from the app, and then the driver gains permanent ownership of the car.
The Univasa team also confirmed that the cars in the drive-to-own scheme had been insured with Universal Insurance plc and tech partners, Mizala. The insurance covers the car, third party and life.
Univasa also has a package for drivers who meet the earning mark of NGN 200,000 in a month. They will automatically be beneficiaries of free insurance against the next month, and others can also easily apply for comprehensive insurance on a flexible payment structure.
The yellow cab drivers expressed their excitement for the new initiatives by Univasa especially verify and pay platform, as it will help them track their rides and also help to improve the reputation of the association as their riders will be more assured of their safety.
Speaking to Techpoint Africa, Dr Ben Adeniyi said that the onboarding process won't be limited to the drivers alone as passengers need to understand how to use the platform. It will enable the passengers to easily adopt the platform and increase trust as they know the driver is affiliated with Univasa and LSTDCOA.
Univasa is a wholly-owned Nigerian Company that provides a one-stop solution to fulfil the daily needs of Africans via cutting-edge digital technology. Univasa launched its ride-hailing application in the later part of 2020 in Lagos with a partnership with the popular Lagos yellow cabs (LSTDCOA) with a campaign called "Baba dey Online" and has since expanded operations to Ibadan, Port Harcourt, Benin City, Akure, Ilorin; Kwara state and Abuja.
The Univasa User and Provider User and Provider apps are available for download on Google Playstore and the Apple AppStore.