Exploring Africa’s digital platforms: Insurance in e-hailing

Exploring Africa’s digital platforms: Insurance in e-hailing

5 September, 2019    

In recent years the platform economy has rapidly transformed various economic sectors such as hospitality, ecommerce and transportation. One of the most important subsectors of the platform economy is e-hailing. E-hailing platforms connect passengers and drivers of cars, taxis or any other form of transportation using virtual devices such as a computer or mobile device. In Africa, e-hailing platforms are already one of the most prevalent types of transactional platforms and are estimated to have generated around USD 2 billion in revenue for the region in 2019.

What is the role that e-hailing platforms can play in providing additional financial services that meet the financial needs of drivers operating in the digital economy? In our latest publication, we explore the risks that impede the financial health and resilience of e-hailing drivers as well as the existing insurance products offered by platforms that create value in the lives of these workers. Our study summarises the key findings from a review of 251 unique e-hailing platforms that are active across 102 countries. In the study, we identified 53 unique cases of platforms offering insurance as a financial services solution for drivers.

  • Section 1 provides an overview of the size and value of the e-hailing sector and the role of e-hailing platforms as distributors of insurance solutions for drivers.
  • Section 2 presents a typology of the risks faced by drivers across the phases of the e-hailing ride cycle.
  • Section 3 considers the existing insurance solutions that e-hailing platforms are offering to drivers as a means of managing their risks as well as the nature of the coverage these products provide.
  • Section 4 explores the central role of network effects in shaping platform incentives and how this affects the quality of matching over the platform but also the type of value-added services e-hailing platforms offer.

This study forms part of a series of knowledge resources that seek to explore the relationship between digital platforms, their participants and the potential value of financial services to these participants.

Download the focus note here Size 2MB

insight2impact (i2ifacility) was funded by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in partnership with Mastercard Foundation. The programme was established and driven by Cenfri and Finmark Trust.

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