Bike firm credits users who obey the rules

Share bike firm ofo to introduce a system that will waive deposits for some users while blacklisting those who mistreat their bicycles.

Shared bike firm ofo is to introduce a new system in Shanghai based on its big data platform, Singularity, with users having high credits able to ride bikes without paying a deposit.

Ofo says the starting credit for all new registered users will be 270. Those who keep to the rules will earn points while those who violate traffic laws or damage the bikes will lose points. The maximum credit is 600.

Existing customers’ points from Zhima Credits (a system launched by Ant Financial) will be converted to the new system.

An ofo staff member said more details of the credit system would be released soon.

Under the new system, those who mistreat bikes will be blacklisted and won’t be able to unlock an ofo bike.

Previously, people who had more than 650 Zhima credits could ride an ofo bike without paying the 199 yuan (US$30.70) deposit. Last month, ofo started to cancel the nationwide deposit waivers system which has been practiced for over a year. Since June 15, users in Shanghai found they had to pay a deposit as well.

Ofo offered a non-refundable 95 yuan “riding bundle” as an alternative. Users can pay for the bundle or pay the deposit before using a bike.

Users can use the 95 yuan to purchase a monthly pass or pay for single trips. Once the 95 yuan has been used up, people can choose to pay another 95 or the deposit.

Yu Xin, one of ofo’s partners, said that before Singularity the company did not have their own data platform to monitor user behaviour.

“Unlike Zhima Credit which judges the users by their consumption level, Singularity is completely oriented by how users obey the rules and treat the bikes,” said Yu. “It is a more reasonable credit system for us.”

Zhang Yan, a regular shared bike user, said she was confused as to why the 95 yuan could not be refunded. “It usually costs me 1 yuan for a trip,” said Zhang. “Why do I have to pay that much ahead?”

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