In a first for the public transportation and digital payments space in the country, Ola (formerly Olacabs), today announced the launch of cashless rides through its in-app Ola money wallet for auto rickshaw bookings from its app across Hyderabad, Chennai, Pune, Ahmedabad, Delhi and Bangalore. Kaali-Peeli taxi rides in Mumbai that are booked through the Ola app can also be paid for using the wallet. This announcement comes a week after Ola announced that it had acquired Taxi For Sure for 200 million.
This will be the first payment solution for auto rickshaws and it aims to make the entire auto experience more convenient and seamless for customers. Ola had launched auto booking through its app about six months ago. Over 40,000 autos and Kaali-Peeli taxis are registered pan-Indian on the Ola app.
How the entire process works:
To pay through the in-app wallet, the customer has to inform the auto rickshaw driver that the payment will be made with Ola Money. On completion of the ride, the driver will enter the fare displayed on the meter, followed by the four-digit OTP that the customer will receive through an SMS. Ola Money is then automatically deducted from the customer’s account. Drivers can withdraw their payments anytime from the prepaid ATM card that is linked to their Ola account.
Through the app, customers can book an auto on their phones without having to haggle for fares or spend time waiting on the road. Driver details are sent via SMS as well and the location of the auto is traceable in real time. Customers get increased visibility of nearby autos on their app. With this feature, customers will not have to pay cash to the auto drivers and the fare amount will be automatically deducted from their Ola Money account. This aims to solve for two primary pain points for users- the need to carry cash and the hassle to find the exact change after the ride.
Pallav Singh, VP - Operations at Ola, said, “Autos and Kaali-Peelis are the most ubiquitous modes of personal transportation available in our cities today. However, for decades they have been operating without leveraging the benefits of scale and efficiency. By bringing them on the Ola app, we have been able to connect auto drivers and customers, bringing more convenience to users and more income for drivers. With cashless rides for autos and Kaali-Peelis now, the experience for both customers and drivers becomes seamless.”
Over the last six months, Ola claims to have seen rapid adoption for their platform amongst auto drivers with about 40,000 autos having signed up. The app helps drivers receive booking requests from customers around them and also helps them with turn-by-turn navigation to reach them. In the last six months, drivers registered on the platform have seen their revenues increase by upto 40%, claims Ola.
With cashless payments, drivers will now be saved from the hassle of carrying and finding change after every ride. Also, drivers will now have their daily earnings deposited into their account with Ola, linked to a prepaid card usable at ATMs or any merchant, helping them inculcate financial discipline on a daily basis.