E-Boda-Boda Finance Lowers Barriers to Entry With Affordable Payment Terms

  • Roam, previously known as Opibus, has signed a major supply agreement with M-KOPA.
  • M-KOPA is a fintech platform that provides credit and digital financial services to underbanked consumers in Africa.
  • The agreement will enable the credit sales of electric motorcycles, lowering the barrier to entry for customers through affordable payment plans.

The new partnership between Roam and M-KOPA is a game-changer for the electric mobility sector on the continent. By combining the power of digital micropayments with the Internet-of-Things (IoT) technology, M-KOPA enables underbanked customers to access a broad range of products and services without collateral. M-KOPA will aid in the deployment of the motorcycles through its innovative ‘Pay-As-You-Go’ model, which allows customers instant access to products while building ownership over time through flexible micro-payments.

“Working with M-KOPA will streamline distribution of electric motorcycles, and at the same time, provide the opportunity to grow Roam’s market reach in regions across Africa where M-KOPA operates, starting in Kenya. This will enable customers to lower their operational costs by over 70%, which results in increased daily income by 50%, a boost that can fundamentally change the livelihoods of the drivers. 

By leveraging the proven and well established ‘Pay-As-You-Go’ model that allows customers to access goods and financial services through a small deposit and then a series of micropayments, Africa’s electric mobility landscape can get a key catalyst to mass adoption. We have seen this with other product offerings such as small off grid home solar systems, refrigerators and cellular phones. In the  ‘Pay-As-You-Go’ model, these micropayments for small off-grid home solar systems have traditionally been 365 daily payments of about USD 50 cents for example, which can be made through the ubiquitous M-PESA mobile payment service, for example. This kind of model helps democratize access to key resources such as electricity and is now being extended to the transport,” said Roam in a press release.

“This agreement is an incredible trigger for electric motorcycle adoption in emerging markets and validates our vision of releasing a locally designed product that exceeds the experience of traditional fossil fuel motorcycles for a similar price. We want to provide a compelling environmental and economic solution for markets that haven’t been part of the electric vehicle transition yet. We believe the motorcycle taxi industry is one of the most impactful areas to start, given the growing market size and importance for low income earners not only in Africa but globally. Our partnership with M-KOPA will drive us both towards our shared vision of cleaner mobility.”  — Mikael Gånge, Co-Founder and Chief Commercial Officer, Roam

“The partnership with Roam aligns us with a major player equally committed to Africa’s sustainable development, and sees us expand our product offerings to include electric motorcycles, which is a true testament to the versatility of our fintech platform. At M-KOPA, we’re committed to lowering the barriers to entry and making everyday essentials accessible, especially to underbanked customers, through flexible payment plans. This rollout will have a transformative effect on the daily incomes of business people and reduce the environmental footprint of commerce, as it continues to grow in rapidly developing markets.” — David Damberger, Managing Director M-KOPA Mobility and M-KOPA Labs.

Roam Air e-bike. Image credit: Roam

About the e-bike

The Roam Air motorcycles can be used for personal use, but are also appropriate for cargo transportation and taxi services. Additionally, the Roam Air comes equipped with a removable dual battery pack, lowering downtime and increasing rider flexibility.

Roam Air Specifications:

  • Battery Capacity: 2 x 3.24 kWh
  • Range (Dual Battery): 180km
  • Nominal Power: 3000 W
  • Top Speed: 90 km/h
  • Payload: 220 kg
  • Weight (Single Battery): 135 kg
  • Charging time: 4 h

Features:

  • Removable dual battery solution
  • Driving modes: Eco, Standard, Power, Sports, Reverse
  • Increased carrying capacity on subframe
  • State-of-the-art software and onboard telemetry
  • Storage compartment in tank
  • Improved screen user interface with better visibility
  • USB charging port

Author: Bryan Groenendaal

Leave A Reply

About Author

Green Building Africa promotes the need for net carbon zero buildings and cities in Africa. We are fiercely independent and encourage outlying thinkers to contribute to the #netcarbonzero movement. Climate change is upon us and now is the time to react in a more diverse and broader approach to sustainability in the built environment. We challenge architects, property developers, urban planners, renewable energy professionals and green building specialists. We also challenge the funding houses and regulators and the role they play in facilitating investment into green projects. Lastly, we explore and investigate new technology and real-time data to speed up the journey in realising a net carbon zero environment for our children.

Copyright Green Building Africa 2024.