The financial services industry is progressively changing thanks to online banking solutions created by fintech players and platforms. Similar to the banking sector revolution of the 1960s, which led to the establishment of a structured banking system, the financial services industry is currently experiencing a departure from traditional banking.
Banking in the past decade is largely tied to movement in and out of the banking hall. However, with the introduction and disruption brought by tech, platforms like Opay and Palmpay, amongst a few, have sprung up to challenge the status quo.
These two financial applications have become two of the most reliable platforms for Nigerians who have lost hope in the financial services offered by many conventional banks and financial institutions.
Savings, deposits, and withdrawals were the three primary banking services until recently, but everything has changed thanks to technological progress. A reward system, safety and security, virtual transactions, seamless service, loan offers, P2P services, and features that may be lifestyle-related are now all incorporated into financial services under a single, simple approach.
In a period where many Nigerian banks and fintech platforms have shown their inefficiency, catastrophic services, low penetration, inadequate coverage and total failure with Nigeria burgeoning to a cashless economy, two fintech platforms have stood out for Nigerians: Palmpay and Opay.
Although their service offerings are comparable, these two financial platforms are distinct. But, if there is one thing that research, comments from Nigerians, and observation have indicated, both platforms are making Nigerians happy with their seamless and efficient services, which is unusual in a nation with more than 50 fintech platforms.
In this article, we reviewed both apps while engaging Nigerians on which they use and why they find it more efficient compared to others platforms. We examined the similarities and uniqueness between both apps too.
We also considered the features that are similar and different and we made a decision on which is preferable based on the ease of use and efficiency.
Similarities – Opay and Palmpay
OPay is a one-stop mobile-based platform for payments, transfers, loans, savings and other essential services for every individual. The platform boasts over 18 million registered app users and 500,000 agents in Nigeria who rely on OPay’s services to send and receive money, pay bills and many more.
Its major drive and focus are delivering financial inclusion across Africa with its seamless and easy platform, which can be used anywhere as long as there is an internet connection. And with a more easy-to-understand app, the platform is towing the path of having many registered users use the platform.
Plampay, on the other hand, is redefining the payments experience for consumers and businesses in Africa by making financial services more accessible and affordable. With over 5,000,000 users, Its goal over the next three years is to enter more markets and empower over 100 million consumers and 10 million businesses with access to relevant, reliable and affordable financial services.
This sole goal of the apps would make you think that the platform was created by the same individual going by the app design and structure. Almost every feature was replicated on both, with the colour being a major difference.
Both fintech companies seek to provide financial services for the unbanked and banked in a seamless, attractive and rewarding way that helps customers achieve satisfaction.
However, how do they do this? How easy is it for anybody to use the platforms?
Read also: Top 5 Nigerian apps released in 2022
Ease of use
Both platforms (Opay and Palmpay) are quite easy to use. From a personal experience, all you need to have both apps is a smartphone, phone number, BVN and a means of identity. Then, download from a Google Play store or Apple store.
For Opay, after downloading, click on ‘Create a new account’ and you will be required to enter your mobile number. OPay will send an OTP to that number, and you are expected to input in the box below your number for you to input and confirm. Then afterwards, you create your password, fill in the necessary information, and are ready to use.
For Palmpay, it is not so different. Signing up takes up few minutes after downloading from the Google Play Store or Apple store. After launching the app, head to the top section and click on sign up or get your welcome bonus (you get a sign-up bonus as a welcome reward on the app). Clicking on any of them will take you to the sign-up page.
Afterwards, fill in the required details and click “Sign up”, Then you verify your account with a verification code that will be sent to your mobile phone number. Once you have gotten your verification code, fill it in in the spaces shown as verification code and click “sign up”. And that’s all.
The Opay app has several innovative features which are also easy to locate on the homepage. These include Airtime and data purchase, Payment for electricity bills, WAEC, governmental payments and levies, subscriptions (DSTV, GOTV, and Startimes), and payment for university tuition fees. These features all have their icons glaring to see.
Apart from the fact that every transfer is free on the platform, users get to enjoy 15% annually on the Opay savings feature, OWealth. New users are also rewarded with sign-on bonuses, with cashback for every airtime and data recharge for users.
With the Opay debit card accepted at any ATM, users can enjoy up to 10 free ATM withdrawals monthly and zero card maintenance fees.
Similarly, Palmpay offers its users a lot of rewards. There is a bonus for using almost all its features, which come as points that can be redeemed for discounts or merchandise. Among the many rewards include: Refer to earn, Naira deals, Palm coins, Lucky Money game, Cash spree, Palm force and check-ins reward.
These rewards are attached to the many features available on the platform, which include: electricity and water bills payment, cable TV subscriptions, airtime and data purchase, school and travel fees payment, and sending money to institutions like churches and universities registered on the app.
There is also the sign-on bonus of N110, which can be used to buy airtime. Palmpay, just like commercial banks, offers its users card, which can either be a QR card or a debit card depending on the account tier of the user after uploading all the necessary documents.
A particular user, Stephen, noted that the app is so much characterised by many “rewards which might make the app a bit complicated for the unsophisticated user, and hence, inability to access all that the app offers.”
What Nigerians are saying about the apps
After speaking to a handful of Nigerian users, I quickly discovered that both platforms have already become prominent in their everyday financial life. One out of every two persons we encountered had either the Opay or. Palmpay. In some instances, they had the two apps on their smartphones.
Boma, a Palmpay user, claims the app is “very easy” to use. He further noted that he “enjoys the hitch-free transfer without charges.” This is what he said:
I usually notice that whenever I transfer to another microfinance bank like Kuda and the like, it comes with little charges, however, transferring to another commercial bank comes with no charges. I also receive the alerts on time.”
He notes that other rewards can come during recharge in the form of paying less than the value you get.
Collins, an Opay user, also has a PalmPay account but claims Opay is easier to use for him. He says: “the features in Opay are easier to understand than Palmpay, which is not unconnected with the fact that Palmpay has more features than Opay.”
Although claiming they are both excellent in what they do, he further stated that he enjoys the rewards he gets from Opay, which are usually the sign-in rewards and recharge bonuses.
Another user of both platforms, Olamide, claims that Palmpay is easier to use. He says, “it’s fast, easy to use and reliable.“
A respondent, Lumi, says she prefers Palmpay to her bank apps because it is “very easy, fast, with no charges on transfers.” Asked if she had experienced any glitches before, her response was resounding with “not at all, not even once.” She says:
Opay is relatively more straightforward than Palmpay, according to a user named Stephen, even though he finds Palmpay to be more comfortable because of its various features.
From the foregoing, it is clear that both apps are easy to use, although confusing which one is easier. Also notable is that both reward their users for using the platform, resulting in them retaining their users.
Palmpay and Opay are customer-centric, and their rewards system is part of their customer retention strategy. This seems to be working just fine, given that many Nigerians are happy with what they are getting and not looking at discarding the platforms soon. Well, it’s not like the commercial bank apps are doing much to change that narrative.
We also found both apps to be very efficient with the essential services they render. For example, as Nigeria and the Central Bank of Nigeria continually seek to transit the economy into a cashless one, both platforms are successfully implementing that with minimal or no hassles and glitches many Nigerians fear.
They both offer users debit cards which can be used for payments and withdrawals seamlessly and facilitate transfers easily and speedily for payment and other transactions with no recorded failures, at least from the responses gotten.
The two platforms are similar because they offer the same services and rewards while very little separates the interface. However, you may prefer to opt for Palmpay if you are a rewards-driven person.
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