Don’t you wish you could just hop into a cab without having to fuss about whether you have sufficient cash, either in your wallet or your NETS bank account? Well, here’s some good news for you, especially if you are already a fan of taxi-booking apps.
Passengers can now go cashless with two taxi-booking apps, UberTAXI and Easy Taxi, which now allow passengers the option of paying via their Visa credit cards. The best part? The passenger will not have to bear any administrative charges. What this means is that you no longer have to worry if the taxi accepts NETS or credit card payment. The fare for credit card payments are now inputted by drivers into the UberTAXI and Easy Taxi apps and charged to a passenger’s credit card directly.
Unfamiliar with UberTAXI? UberTAXI is a new option offered by on-demand private chauffeur app Uber in Singapore, where instead of flagging down a nice private luxury car to drive you to your location, you can now flag down a taxi to pick you up. UberTAXI allows you to get a photo and a phone number of your driver so you can identify and contact your driver.
A cashless option is already available for all UberTAXI rides. With a Visa credit card, passengers will not have to bear any administrative charges. Other than just Visa, Uber accepts all major credit cards and passenger will not have to bear any administrative charges.
If you recall, ComfortDelGro and Transcab transferred the 10 per cent levy on fares using credit cards on to passengers (a breach of contract terms with Visa), up till July last year when the Visa payment option was withdrawn completely.
Given the history of the two largest taxi operators, we have to applaud the bold management of both UberTAXI and Easy Taxi, who have decided to absorb the administrative charges. However, don’t be too happy yet. While UberTAXI intends to cover the credit card processing fees permanently, Easy Taxi will only be waiving the charges for now.
UberTAXI Versus Easy Taxi Versus GrabTaxi
So how will this move affect the local competitive landscape with the popular taxi-booking apps – GrabTaxi, UberTAXI and Easy Taxi? GrabTaxi is not jumping onto the bandwagon just yet, but instead, is opting to study the various payment technologies available for the time being. We believe this will be a welcome move for passengers keen to try the newly launched UberTAXI’s services, and will also encourage new and existing customers of Easy Taxi to go cashless simply for the convenience.
Last we checked, the GrabTaxi app ranked the highest on iTunes’ Top Charts at No. 22, followed by Uber at No. 28, with Easy Taxi rounding up the tail at No. 92.
Would having an additional Visa payment option shake things up significantly in the fluctuating popularity poll for the big three? Time will tell. We say they should move fast to capture customer loyalty, before other potential market entrants zero in.