In an landslide strategic move, Opay has finally penetrated Anambra State. Though there are speculations about banning Motorbikes in Lagos, this news does not deter Opay strategic expansion in several states. Onitsha is the commercial nerve center of West Africa with slightly over seven million (7Million) human population as against Lagos which is over Fifteen Million 15Million. It is quite strategic for Opay as we explore the opportunities of what abounds for the ubiquitous Mobile application.
Opay should consider introducing the Bike Hailing feature of the Mobile app as quickly as possible. Though Bike riders popularly known as ‘Okada’ were banned in major cities of Awka and Onitsha sometime last year, an organized Bike hailing solution will speak to the urgency lifestyle of the state residents.
Another area of focus for Opay also is the Agency banking. Agency banking is still one of the fastest routes to bank by over 60% of bankable adults. As a result, Mobile Money agents are seen operating even in close proximity with banks. On average, an agent in Onitsha processes over 3Million Naira daily for both deposits and cash withdrawals and transfers. This is possible as the state is dominated by traders who prefer cash instead of using traditional bank transfers. Cash handling is a major challenge for most of these traders as threats of being attacked by bandits is prevalence.This is a goldmine waiting to be tapped by Opay.
Challenges Opay might face
OPay will definitely face some initial challenges as rewriting the mindset of an average Anambra indigene is a bit tedious.
First challenge: Security Threats
Over 80% of the state indigene bear the fear of being kidnapped. People will be afraid of hoodlums who probably might pose as OPay riders but operate in a network of kidnappers. There has been series of Kidnap attempts and knife attacks on the streets of the state. Though the state boasts of community policing outfit popularly known as Vigilantes, possible attacks by bandits can not be totally eliminated. Hence the Bike hailing feature of the app will encounter some level of slow adoption.
Another challenge OPay will face is the slow adoption of technology. Though about 70% of adults in the state use smart phones, about half does hardly interacts with a financial mobile application like Opay. Also, there is a phobia that people can hack into a financial app on the mobile phone and steal away someone’s savings or money. In fact, most of the indigenes prefer taking their cash to the bank and paying directly than using a accepting bank transfers while handing out cash to agents
. Hence, you will hear some slangs around
‘Nwanne, I deal with Cash, no transfer’ and other such expression of phobia to banking services.
So it will be difficult to convince an average resident in the state about the security of his funds.
We can not talk about the above two possible challenges without talking about the advantages.
First: Job Creation
With the introduction of Oride, there will be massive job creation. To speak, we predict over 1Million subscription to the Oride Bikes on the first week of launching. The reason being that the state residents usually operate in a haste and so would prefer hailing a ride to catch up with urgent business deals than being trapped on the traffic. We foresee some riders taking bike from Onitsha to about 150km within the state to reach a destination. In this case, one can take a bike from Onitsha to Awka or Nnewi just to avoid the traffic and for the convenience.
Second: High revenue
There will be tremendous revenue generation for OPay in the state. Once the app becomes a household name, the residents will patronize the solution immensely. This will definitely increase the revenue generation for Opay. Also, there will be increased trading volumes and more sources of income for the agents.
One can only wait to see how Opay will solve the Government ban on ‘OKada’ to penetrate the state. A partnership with the Government will be the fastest way to go as once there will be some addition to the IGR of the state, adoption shall be fast. We might not want to overemphasize a partnership deal to also be secured with the Motorcycle spare parts dealers in Nnewi in order to overcome the barrier of entry.