SafeBoda vs Wave Mobile Money: How do they Compare in Uganda?

SafeBoda Wallter vs Wave Mobile Money

There seems to be so much to deal with these days, traffic, fuel scarcity, non-existent work-life balance or even keeping in shape. The good news is that with all these new fintech apps(SafeBoda and Wave Uganda), there is one less thing you need to worry about, and that’s access and usability to your money. Both are born amidst the chaos of telecom companies failing to innovate beyond SIM card interfaces like USSD and SIM toolkits.

Both SafeBoda and Wave Mobile money is providing mobile money services and utility payments through the app but how do they stack against each other. Let’s find out in our Wave vs SafeBoda mobile money comparison.

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1. Sending Charges

Sending fees have always been my dreaded service charge when it comes to mobile money service. All telecoms operating mobile money in Uganda charge sending costs for wallet transfers or cross-platform transactions which I find ridiculous. Both Wave and SafeBoda mobile money have taken different approaches when it comes to treating sending costs.

Wave mobile money charges a 1% fee when you are sending money from one Wave wallet to another and a maximum flat fee of 12,500UGX for any transaction over 1,250,000UGX. This is so far the only available service charge on the platform and by far the only way Wave mobile money makes money.

SafeBoda mobile money on the other hand doesn’t charge any sending cost for wallet transfers. You can send money from one SafeBoda to another for free.

Here is a breakdown of the sending charges between Wave Mobile money and SafeBoda Mobile Money service in Uganda;

MinMaxSafeBoda Mobile MoneyWave Mobile Money
5002,500Free25
2,5015,000Free50
5,00115,000Free100
15,00130,000Free300
30,00145,000Free450
45,00160,000Free600
60,001125,000Free1,000
125,001250,000Free2,500
250,001500,000Free5,000
500,0011,000,000Free10,000
1,000,0015,000,000Free12,500

2. Withdraw Charges

Let’s go through the withdrawal charges for both SafeBoda and Wave Mobile Money.

SafeBoda charges a minimum fee of 350UGX for transactions up to 15,000UGX and a maximum service charge of 10,000UGX for transactions between 500,001UGX and 3,000,000UGX. They decided to have withdrawal charges as the primary source of how they make money for their service at the moment and their rates look affordable compared to the competition. To be candid and fair, their charges are cheaper than Wave’s approach to charging a 1% extra charge on sending fees.

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Wave mobile money has no charges for withdrawals and is free at the moment.

It’s worth noting both Wave and SafeBoda mobile money have a cap on daily withdrawals amount of 5,000,000UGX however, SafeBoda has not provided withdrawal charges for transactions over 3,000,000UGX on their materials.

MinMaxSafeBoda Mobile MoneyWave Mobile Money
50015,000350Free
15,00150,000750Free
50,001100,0001,500Free
100,001250,0002,500Free
250,001500,0005,000Free
500,0013,000,00010,000Free

READ ALSO: Wave Mobile Money and MTN MoMo Comparision in Uganda.


3. Utility Payment

Utility payments have become a standard service to offer especially when you are a fintech startup. Both SafeBoda and Wave mobile money offer utility payments and the difference is how many providers they support.

SafeBoda mobile money allows the purchase of airtime and payments for TVs, Water, and electricity bills. The catch with using your SafeBoda at the moment is the cashback they offer i.e. 10% Cashback on Airtime Purchases and other perks when you make utility payments. We previously discussed in our blogs the approach SafeBoda is taking with their super app and the services they are providing here.

Here is a breakdown of all utility payment options provided by Wave and SafeBoda mobile money in Uganda;

 Wave Mobile MoneySafeBoda Mobile Money
Service charges Free1UGX for utility payments

10% cashback for airtime and data purchase
Utility payment options that are available Yaka, Umeme, National Water and Sewerage Corporation, DSTV, and GOTV

Airtime purchase [MTN and Airtel]
Merchant payments options at shops, bars, and restaurants

UMEME, Yaka, Water bills [NWSC], DSTV, AZAM TV, GoTV and StarTimes

Data Bundle purhcase [MTN. Airtel and Roke Telecom]

Airtime purchase [MTN and Airtel]

4. Agent Networks and Availability

Choosing your mobile money provider always comes down to how many agent networks and their availability. How many locations can you easily withdraw your money from and the last-mile network when you send money to your family in the village are all significant parameters.

SafeBoda mobile money is only available within the city center at the moment i.e. Kampala and its surrounding suburbs. You can use the app and check for agents near your location. The feature is available when you are withdrawing money, you see first the list of all agents near you and choose which one to use.

Wave mobile money on the other end is well established and its presence is all over the country. They have invested in setting up shops, branding, and agents and empowering their agents to be happy with commissions for registrations of new customers. So far, it seems a perfect match and no party is complaining. When unsure if there are Wave agents near your location, you can use this link to check for Wave agents.

5. Offline Access

It is nearly impossible to top telecom companies’ mobile money offline access with USSD. Anyone and every device can withdraw or deposit money even when there is no internet. Fintech apps on the other hand are finding a workaround to fulfill that position as well.

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Wave mobile money uses a QR code on a card for offline access. Customers without smartphones are registered and given a card with a QR code which they can use to deposit and withdraw money from their Wave accounts. 

The closest thing for SafeBoda on the other hand is being zero-rated on the MTN network. Meaning you can use the SafeBoda app even when you don’t have an internet data bundle as long as you are using an MTN sim card for internet connection. Away from that, you can only use the SafeBoda app when you are connected to the internet.

6. Deposit Charges and Features

Both SafeBoda and Wave mobile money do not charge deposit charges when adding money to your wallet and rightly so. As for features, both companies are keeping it simple. SafaBoda is slightly ahead as they offer additional services through their super app. Wave on the other hand is keeping it straight to its mission of “your money is yours“.

For your account to hold

The Verdict

Mobile money service has always had 3 valuable value propositions since its inception; affordability, reliability, and availability. Both SafeBoda and Wave mobile money tick those boxes when you are choosing to use either service. If you want countrywide access, Wave mobile money is the logical option at the moment however, I am positive SafeBoda will soon start a countrywide network of agents and be a force to reckon with.

Have you decided on your stance in the battle of the SafeBoda vs Wave Mobile Money? Let us know in the comment section below.

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