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Power: Enabling financial inclusion for ride-hailing drivers 

Dec 15, 2023 | Research

By Chris Maclay and Mercy Mangeni

Gig workers on jobtech platforms in ride-hailing have traditionally been poorly serviced by financial service providers offering service insurance, loans, or savings. Actors such as CGAP have been exploring how to embed financial services into platforms. These financial services tend to operate by using platform data to build credit scores and provide a vehicle (no pun intended) for remitting repayments. Entire businesses have been built around this concept. For instance, in Nigeria, Moove has partnerships with Uber for vehicle financing, and Max has similar arrangements with Bolt. While these products offer certain strengths, the fundamental issues with the economics of these loans, from the users’ perspective, have been well-documented (here and here).  Moreover, they offer only one product – vehicle financing. So what about health insurance? Or life insurance? Or savings products or earned-wage access, which is increasingly the rage?

Although, there have been a few tie-ins between ride-hailing platforms and financial service providers in areas like insurance – for example, Safeboda partnered with Turaco in Kenya to offer health insurance for riders starting at just $2/month – these models come with challenges.  Many Jobtech users are ‘multi-homing’ or simultaneously operating on multiple platforms (most Uber riders in Kenya, for example, are also Bolt and/or Glovo/Little riders). This means that any individual platform actually only has visibility into a fraction of a rider’s income and thus is not actually uniquely well-equipped to offer such financial services or alternative credit scores. Any independent third-party financial service provider would also need to negotiate relationships on sensitive data with multiple jobtech platforms in each market, which is hard to do and scale. 

The Jobtech Alliance is piloting one alternative mode by facilitating collaboration between Kenyan financial service provider Power and Swedish-based data scraping platform Unveel. Together, they will offer a suite of financial services, including earned wage access, insurance, loans, and savings, to gig workers on major ride-hailing platforms. The collaboration involves Unveel scraping the data from a user’s multiple ride-hailing app accounts and aggregating the data within the Power App with permissions from users. Using this data, Power can then offer a suite of services, starting with accident and health insurance and subsequently offering earned wage access based on the user’s income patterns across these multiple apps. If this works, it would be the first case in Africa of financial services effectively being able to target this demographic with a product that enables them to operate on multiple platforms simultaneously.

How Unveel API Works 

The Unveel API scrapes real-time income and work history data of gig workers across multiple platforms. This data includes various data points such as the worker’s profile (name, date of birth, contact information, and address), their work history (number of platforms worked on, aggregated earnings per platform, and the total number of trips completed and canceled on each platform), and their payout history (total number of gigs, monthly and annual income across all the platforms). The Unveel API can scrape historic data for up to the past 24 months. The Unveel API widget is seamlessly integrated into the primary product/platform, making it very user-friendly. Users launch the platform and the Unveel widget, then select the platform(s) they work with. Once credentials are authenticated, the API begins scraping data from multiple platforms. 

Power is already at the leading edge of financial innovation in East Africa

Power Financial Wellness Inc. is a regulated Kenyan-based fintech and lending platform. It was co-founded in 2019 by  Brian Dempsey, who brings a wealth of experience from the microfinance industry, and Chandra Singh, with a strong background in technical development across Africa and Asia. Power was designed to empower African workers to take control of their financial health by providing a suite of holistic and affordable digital financial services by leveraging their work-related data.

Power’s normal model is a B2B approach integrating the company’s payroll system into the Power App, enabling real-time access to the worker’s information. This integration allows Power to customize financial services for individual workers, including the loan amount, interest rate, and loan tenure. It also enables partner HR teams to access, approve, or reject employee loan requests, which reduces risk. The company has onboarded 180+ companies and with a workforce exceeding 40,000, and has disbursed over 60,000 loans and $3 million in credit since its launch.

We are currently in the initial stages of piloting this project in partnership with Power and Unveel. Our focus is on user research and back-end integration. We anticipate the product to go live in Q1 2024, and we plan to report on the pilot’s progress in late 2024.


The Jobtech Alliance is an ecosystem-building initiative around inclusive jobtech in Africa launched in late 2021. We’re interested in digital platforms which connect people to work opportunities that build livelihoods – this includes gigmatching platforms, job matching, e-commerce marketplaces, and more. The Jobtech Alliance helps jobtech platforms to grow and create more jobs.


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