Online taxi business is one of the investment opportunities that is highly profitable in Africa, especially in Nigeria today, as it yet to be fully tapped into by people.
It is a technologically-driven taxi controlled by different companies like Uber, Taxify, Oga Taxi, Easy Taxi and Smart Taxi, among others.
The unique selling proposition of these firms is that they help Nigerians get to their destinations in comfortable taxis from anywhere, using just a smartphone application.
All a customer needs is to download the app on his/her phone and when a taxi is required, just push a button to request for one. Using a special algorithm, the app then matches the customer to the nearest pre-verified taxi and provides a fare estimate.
The app also automatically charges the customers registered card and the driver also gets paid directly into his bank account weekly; so, no cash ever needs to be exchanged. After the ride, the customer receives a fare breakdown by e-mail.
A personal finance coach, Mr. Fredrick Onwuha, says you can make money through this technologically driven taxi with your car or someone else can employ you as a driver. Rather than driving round town looking for white collar job or parking your car at home on weekends, discerning investors can subscribe to the money-making business.
Another advantage for interested Nigerians that are employed is that their vehicles, especially the ones manufactured not later than 2003, can be used for offering such services when they are at work. All they need is to engage a driver, who earns commission based on the numbers of trips made weekly.
All the firm does is to just provide the software to connect you as a driver with your prospective riders; which means that the company doesn’t own any vehicles. They only partner with you as a car owner.
For instance, if you are a fresh graduate that is unemployed but have the opportunity to own a car that was maybe probably given to you by your parents while in school, rather than wait at home endlessly for a white collar job, this a an opportunity you can explore till you get that job as you can earn a good amount of money.
He says, “An advantage of going into this business is that it is a great earning opportunity as you, as a driver, are self-employed and as such, you have complete control over what hours you work. You can adjust your availability to suit you, and the company only sends you customers during your available hours.”
Another benefit that comes with this venture is that you do not need to haggle prices with your customers as fare prices are determined by the app, and are automatically calculated based on the distance and time a journey takes.
For instance, all that is required by Uber is a 20 per cent commission while the balance is transferred into your account by the firm as the owner of the vehicle.
But if you are just a driver, your commission is paid to your bank account at the end of each week or month, by the owner of the account.
As a driver, you can get bookings between seven and 20 jobs on a daily basis. Assuming an average fare is N1,500 per ride, this translates to minimum of N63,000 per week. The expenses you, as the owner of the car will make is on petrol, insurance and maintenance, among others.
To get started, you need to register on the Uber network as a vehicle owner who wants to drive and you will need a scanned copy of your car documents. Your car must at least be a 2003 model and in very good condition, which Uber will require that you bring in for an inspection. Also, your drivers’ licence, third-party vehicle insurance certificate and vehicle inspection clearance papers will be needed for identification and verification purposes.
With all these documents in place, you can successfully register online as a partner, then you get access to a profile where you will need to set up payment details such as your account name, account number, swift code of your bank branch, tax identification number and bank code where Uber can send payment to you weekly.
It is important to note than Uber and other firms will carry out a background check. This is carried out after you, as a driver, have been accepted and driving skill training from the Federal Road Safety Commission and Police certified. The latter is carried out with the police to ensure the driver does not have any criminal conviction or charge for the safety of passengers.
You will need to be comfortable using a smart phone with GPS, in addition to your local knowledge of the environment where you will be operating. You can either bring your own smartphone or the taxi company provide one; provided you pay a sum which serves as a deposit. Then instalments on the smartphone will be deducted from your commissions, as