Grab adds instant street-hailing feature in Singapore

Image credit: Daxiao Productions / Shutterstock.com

Ride-hailing company Grab has announced the launch of GrabNow, a service that enables passengers in Singapore to flag down and connect instantly with a GrabTaxi driver via the Grab app.

To use GrabNow, passengers need to launch the Grab app, select the “Standard Taxi” service, followed by the “GrabNow” option. This will prompt the passenger’s and their GrabTaxi driver-partner’s mobile devices to pair.

Grab says pairing takes no more than ten seconds, and can be done either via Google Nearby, or a 6-digit code issued from the driver’s app, which the passenger can enter into their device. The trip will then be registered as a GrabTaxi ride and can be paid for seamlessly using Grab’s in-app cashless payment feature GrabPay, or by cash.

Participating GrabTaxi drivers can be identified by a special GrabNow decal.

“With GrabNow, our customers can enjoy the best of both worlds – the immediacy of street hailing as well as all the benefits of the Grab app, including cashless payments, GrabRewards points and best-in-class safety standards,” said Melvin Vu, Head of GrabTaxi Singapore, Grab.

Grab is also hoping that the GrabNow will encourage more Singapore taxi drivers to go cashless. Grab says internal research with taxi drivers revealed that the majority of street-hail taxi rides are transacted in cash. Taxi drivers who cited cash as their preferred payment mode liked the ability to use cash fares instantly without having to wait for financial institutions to process the payment.

With that in mind, Grab is introducing an Instant Cash Out feature for GrabTaxi driver-partners with POSB or DBS bank accounts. The feature enables them to instantly transfer fares collected via GrabPay into their bank accounts, and withdraw their earnings at any of the bank’s ATMs, without having to wait for the standard processing time of one working day. The company aims to roll out the Instant Cash Out feature to other local bank account holders in the following months.

“We understand that many taxi drivers are still hesitant to accept cashless payments due to the extra processing time for credit and debit card transactions,” Vu said. “We believe that our latest Instant Cash Out feature will encourage taxi drivers to embrace the convenience of cashless payment, and bring more taxi-drivers into the cashless society.”

GrabNow is available in beta and will be progressively rolled out to all Grab users this week. Android users with the latest app version will start seeing the GrabNow icon enabled on their mobile phones now, followed by iOS users later this week.

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