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(Review) OPay launched ORide, an Okada booking service in Nigeria

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I only heard about ORide by Opay last week and so far I have booked about six rides using the OPay app. Apparently, Opay was launched in May, this year in Lagos, Nigeria. Shortly after, Ibadan welcomed the service.

OPay began operations fully in Ilorin, Kwara state this month, August 2019. I think that this is a very innovative way to book Okada/motorbike. Not only is this an easier way to move from place to place, but it is also mostly a safer kind of motorbike service.

I have decided to do a review here so that you can decide if this is something you would like to sign up for or not. I currently stay in Ilorin, Kwara state so, some portion of my review may be location-based. It doesn’t seem like there will be much difference between ORide in Lagos and ORide in other states.

What is ORide?

ORide is a service that you find on the Opay app. This service allows you to book motorbikes that can come pick you up and drop you off at your designated destination.

How I found out about ORide by OPay

I was making my hair when a team of their marketers came in to talk about the service. That was the very first time I would get to know about it. During the launch in Ilorin, they deployed marketers to different parts of the city to convince people to download and use the app.

I very much think that strategy worked so well. This is also coupled with the fact that you are charged 50 Naira for any trip you make. As long as the total cost of the trip is originally less than 1,00 Naira.

ORide by OPay app Ilorin Kwara state August promo, Esther ADENIYI

This promo is currently still going on as we speak. It will span the whole of August. For one, this has lured a lot of people into downloading and making use of the app.

How to use the ORide service

To access the ORide service, you will have to download the parent app, Opay. Opay as an app has a lot more other services embedded in it. With the Opay application, you can buy airtime, order for food, buy mobile data, loan some money and pay for some services or subscription online like electricity, betting and TV.

The first step is to visit Play Store and search for OPay. Upon download, registration is very seamless and easy. You can always do this on your own as long as you are familiar with an android phone.

If you are to not miss from the August promo that is still ongoing, you will have to ask one of the OPay agents to give you a promo code.

Now that you have set up your app, the next thing to do is to load it with some money. The app doesn’t work like the popular Uber or Taxify apps where you can be charged for your rides through your bank.

You will have to have preloaded some money into the account to use the service for Okada booking.

It is very easy to deposit money unto the account from your bank as you can use any bank in Nigeria. There are two different methods of loading your account.

One is where you have to put in your card details and have the money deducted into the app. The other is where you go to your bank app to directly pay into your OPay account. I found the later easier for me.

I used GTBank and here’s how I did that.

I logged into my GTBANK mobile app and then clicked on my menu to bring out the options. I selected the “Transfers and Withdrawals options”. Afterward, I clicked on the “To Other Banks” option.

I used the phone number used during the OPay registration as the account number but without the zero(0) in front. That’s like starting from 81…

I chose PAYCOM in the bank options to transfer to and simply completed my transaction.

It is very easy. Please note that it might take a minute to actually get the app to reflect your new balance.

My first impression of the OPay app

I totally fell in love with the UX and the UI. The interface is colorful and stunning! I might have a thing for beautiful and functional apps.

OPAY login interface

The different functions are clearly marked and easily spotted. The most important in this case being “Take a ride“.

ORide interactive app screenshot, Esther Adeniyi, OPAY app

I also like how stable the app is. The map is also very accurate and easy to use. I think that the app is a very good job, very well done. I am convinced that the developers put into consideration how impatient any customer can be when it comes to using apps to book for a transport service. ‘

I mean, anyone can give up to use the regular bike hailing service instead if they found out that it was not easy to book rides.

How to book a ride using ORide


First, you need to log on to your Opay app and select “Take a ride“. This will bring out an interface with a map, your balance, your current location (pick up location) and where you would like to go.

Set your pick up location if the map hasn’t done that automatically for you and insert where you would like to go.

The OPay app then begins to automatically pair you up with the closest rider around. This will take less than a minute. If the ORider accepts your booking, you are able to see them pop up with their name, rating and how many orders they have taken so far.

ORide by OPay driver arriving soon, how to book oride, how to use opay, Esther Adeniyi

You can wait for their call or decide to call them up if you want to speed up the process. When you both confirm your locations and how long you have to wait, you then wait to be picked up.

When the driver arrives, he indicates so. You can see that on your app, like this:

ORide by OPay driver arrived, Oride arrived, Esther Adeniyi, how to use Oride

Upon pick up, your rider indicates on his app that the ride has started. On your own app, it will automatically show that you are en route.

ORide enroute, Esther Adeniyi

On arrival at your destination, your rider confirms that the trip is completed so that you are shown the link to click “pay”. When you click on the green “pay” option, the transaction is completed and you are able to give them your rating.

What I like about ORide by Opay

ORide is an easier Okada service

I know that hailing a passing motorbike may seem easier but come to think of it, you’d sometimes have to haggle prices with more than one of them. On the ORide app, you know how much will be charged already and so the issue of too much talk is out of this. Everyone is on the same page.

It is a faster alternative in scarce situations

If you are ever in a location where you might have to trek long distances to get a motorbike, ORide might just be your best bet. If you order a ride, you can always wait for the bike to drive down to meet you where you are.

Riders are careful and well-coordinated

I love this about ORiders. Unlike the regular Okada people, they have control of what they are doing on the road. Sometimes these bike men think that it is all about slower speed. I tell them that it is not in driving slower but in driving carefully.

You can be driving slower but very rough. Squeezing in between a narrow path, two moving vehicles, etc, are really rough and dangerous. Some of these people apply avoidable sudden breaks that cause you to jerk and fear for your life.

You can use ORide when you are cash stranded

Speaking of being stranded, all you have to do is simply pull out your phone and log in to the app to book a ride.

What I don’t like about ORide by OPay

Esther Adeniyi using OPay/ORide

The limited payment options

I once had to pay without success. This is something that can happen to anyone else if they do not have a strong network. I resorted to cash but it would be awesome if there was a way to have money deducted from your account too. There are times both the driver and I are just stuck looking for network to pay. Alas, this is Nigeria!

The ORide recruitment process

I do not know if this is the same everywhere but here in Ilorin, no bikes are given out. Bikers have to apply with their own bikes. I once asked for the model and a marketing staff said to me that they only recruit people who are smart and learned. While this is admirable, these people use their already existing bikes, some of which might not be in perfect condition. My last ride, for example, was this afternoon. I didn’t like the bike I was on. It seemed not to be in perfect shape and I didn’t enjoy the ride.

What the OPay drivers need to do better

Park well to pick up OPay users

If these folks are going to preserve the quality of this service, they might need to observe the road signs like every other normal Okada rider. The other day, this OPay rider parked at an awkward place. The police got a hold of him and all he had to say was that he was waiting for me to cross the road. Really! That was why you went to park in a no-park zone. Bullshit!

Not press their phones in transit or in awkward/dangerous places

Okay, so can we address this once and for all? This can cause accidents for crying out loud! To use their phones, they should park well. Anyone could snatch these phones. Pressing it in transit or when parked in the middle of the road can cause problems. Accidents happen in seconds!

Try to convince riders to use their helmets

I know that some of us do not subscribe to wearing what everyone is putting on their heads but some drivers are not even trying to get you to wear these helmets. OPay has provided nets for people for God’s sake. The drivers just have to hand over these nets to people so they can use the helmets.

In conclusion

This new Okada booking service is a very innovative and pleasantly welcome one. If they get it right, ORide will solve a lot of the problems we have with the regular motorbike services.

Have you ever used OPay before?

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