In a country like Nigeria with a poor transportation system, e-hailing services have become a much-welcomed solution to people’s commuting problems.
With flexible charges determined by apps, the e-hailing services are rescuing many Nigerians from the hands of traditional taxi or cab drivers and their exorbitant charges.
While the likes of Uber and Bolt have been dominating the space, the huge business opportunity in this sector has seen new players coming into the space. Among the new entrants into the Nigerian e-hailing space are InDriver and Rida.
Already operating in other African countries such as Uganda, Kenya, South Africa, and Tanzania, InDriver launched in Nigeria in 2019 and has since connected over 6,000 drivers in the country. Rida also made its debut the following year by launching first in Abuja in early 2020.
As their unique selling proposition, these two apps have introduced a different billing system from what the likes of Uber and Bolt have instituted. And that is helping them to draw the attention of riders who had become used to the Uber/Bolt style.
But even as both apps operate similarly, they have their differences and the user experience on both platforms cannot be the same, hence the need to look at what each of the apps is doing better.
InDriver vs Rida: User interface: Upon download, registering on both apps requires you to enter your mobile number, after which a code will be sent to the number for confirmation. For the Rida app, the next thing you will do is input your name and then you are good to go.
However, on InDriver, you will be required to move to another step by entering your city. Your registration could be delayed if the app fails to bring up your city.
Once you have successfully updated your city, you will select whether you are registering as a driver or a passenger because the app is for both drivers and passengers. You then input your name.
Both apps have simple and easy-to-navigate interfaces. The home page of both apps shows you your city map, and below it is the space to enter your departure and destination points and your price offer.
Booking a ride: To book a ride on InDriver, you enter your location, your destination, the amount you’re willing to pay, and “comments and wishes”. When you request the ride, drivers close to your location will confirm your order by either accepting your bid or presenting a counterbid.
Booking on Rida follows a similar process. You set the price you are willing to pay or choose the suggested price by the app. The Rida app will quickly find nearby drivers and you will see a list of nearby drivers that have either accepted your price or those coming with their offers, which you can also decline or accept.
Pricing methodology: On the Rida app, once you enter your departure and destination points, the app brings up an offer price. And on both the left and right sides of the price are minus and plus (- and +) buttons which you can use to reduce or increase the price.
Similarly, on InDriver, the app shows you a ‘recommended price’ once you have entered your departure and destination points. While you can change the amount to your preferred price, the app will advise you to “try raising your fair to find a driver faster”. This suggests that drivers on the platform may not pick up your order if the price you are offering is low.
User Experience: While the two apps are already gaining traction in the Nigerian market as cheaper alternatives to Uber and Bolt, user experience on both platforms shows that a lot still needs to be done to bring the apps to perfection. Here is what the users are saying about InDriver and Rida apps through their reviews on Google Play Store:
InDriver users: For Tolu Yusuf, it has not been easy getting a ride on the InDriver app. He said:
“It’s a hassle getting rides using the app. It appears that the drivers subscribed to your platform do not want to offer services by staying offline. I just thought to bring this to your attention so you can improve your acceptance among people who use car-hailing services. It’s so frustrating and I am so ready to delete the app.”
Francisca Offong enjoys the fact that the InDriver app allows her to bargain the cost of a ride without extra charge for the driver’s waiting time.
“The best feature of the app is the fact that it has a low initial cost, you can bargain and once the order has been accepted, the price is fixed. It also has free waiting time. But I have a few issues: Once you order a ride, you cannot change the location without cancelling the ride. And when you book a ride, you cannot see the details of your current ride or do other things with the app,” she said.
While the price on the app may be cheap, Angel Oche is worried that some drivers on the platform do ask for more than the bargained amount at the end of the trip. She said:
“Some of the drivers ask for extra money when they’ve already accepted the trip and the price I put in the app. they say the app doesn’t show them the exact distance they’re going before they accept. It’s frustrating. please there should be an update so they can see exactly where they’re going before they accept a trip and price, to make things easier for everyone.”
Rida users: For Victoria Jessica, being cheap is not enough. She said:
“As beneficial and cheap as the app is as opposed to other apps, I think their drivers need to be cautioned. The first time I used the app, bargained the price and a driver accepted it. Then picked me up and started yelling about how I bargained the price. Tonight, I said let me fear God. I didn’t even bargain the price. The price given by the app, I accepted and selected a driver. He also accepted. He’s picked me now and is currently complaining about how the price isn’t worth the trip.”
Another user of the Rida app, Victor Enejo Attah, loves the concept of Rida but he is not happy with the inaccuracy of timing on the app.
“I love the concept and the simple user interface which makes it easy. It is the cheapest I’ve seen so far, but the app doesn’t show when you’ve started your journey or finished until very much later,” he said.
For Ossywhyse O, a rider, the experience on the app was not palatable.
“This is an extremely useless app. I decided to try the app today and got matched with a driver after waiting for several minutes. The driver cancelled the trip and it kept showing me that the driver was getting close to my location. The first flaw of the app is it doesn’t tell you how far or near the driver is. It just tells you that the driver is close so the passenger is left in the dark,” he lamented.
The bottom line: As both apps adopt the same model of booking and pricing, they also share similar challenges, going by the user experience on both platforms. Aside from the navigation issue on the apps, the price-bargaining offer appears to be a major problem for the two apps with cases of drivers wanting to receive more than the amount agreed on by the apps.
With pricing working the same way and both apps suffering the same problems, it is difficult to say which is better between InDriver and Rida, for now.
But going by the users’ ratings on Google Play Store, Rida has a better rating at 4.8 compared with InDriver’s 4.5.