Looks like cab aggregator now wants to go cash-less. Uber pioneered it and now Indian cabbies are following suite pretty quickly
In the month of August, we had showed how Uber is disrupting the taxi service paradigm in India, when we reported that a consortium of Meru Cabs, Easy Cabs and Mega Cabs have filed a case against Uber for allegedly ‘violating foreign exchange rules’.
We had suggested that “Instead of filing such complaints, existing biggies of Indian taxi market should focus on refining their business models and inducing smarter, economical and customer friendly features.”
It seems that Meru Cab has understood the fast changing dynamics of taxi industry pretty quickly, as they have embraced technology, and introduced cash-free travel option via it’s new mobile application. Meru has teamed up with Citrus Pay to launch this cash-free travel wherein the users will simply have to upload cash into their mobile wallet.
While travelling, the application will track the GPS locations of your travel, and accordingly the service charges would be deducted from the wallet without even clicking a single button.
Siddhartha Pahwa, CEO, Meru Cabs, said, “We’ve seen increased adoption of smartphones and we understand how a good Cab app makes the travel experience enjoyable. The Meru app gives control and convenience in the hands of the customer.”
Here is the process:
Step 1: You load cash into the mobile wallet using netbanking, debit or credit cards
Step 2: You order a Meru cab using their application
Step 3: If your GPS is on, the app will note down your starting point, and calculate the total distance covered. Additionally, the app will track the live positioning of the cab, suggest best routes and inform the estimated time travel.
Step 4: Once the journey is over, simply walk out. The amount based on the distance travelled would be automatically deducted from the mobile wallet powered by Citrus Pay; which can also be used for transactions at third party outlets (which is norm when it comes to mobile wallets)
Other cab providers are also in talk with Citrus Pay to embed this mechanism in their systems, to make the whole process simpler and transparent.
Interestingly, Citrus Pay came up with this unique payment and tracking system after consulting with cab drivers. As per Amrish Rau, Director of Citrus Payment Solutions, they asked the cab drivers how to make the system better. As per feedback received, the drivers wanted a one-stop solution wherein a button is clicked, and the payment is made automatically based on the traveled distance. He said, “They (the drivers) said that if we just have to press a button and the payment is done, rather than the complex method of keying in pin, numbers, then that’s the best option for them. So, we hope drivers also take this in a big way.”
[Suggested Reading: Meru, Ola Or Uber: A Cab Driver’s View!]
Ola Cabs, which is considered another biggie in this niche Indian taxi industry, has also introduced their cash-less travel mechanism recently, wherein customers need not look out for cash after the travel, and can simply pay using their mobile app.
A great initiative indeed, powered by technology and a vision to make the taxi service industry robust and performance-oriented.
Do share your opinion on this development: Will it help Meru Cabs to gain more market share? Or Indian traveler still prefers the old way of making taxi payments?