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Bookmycab app introduces SOS button in response to security needsBy
Indian taxi service Bookmycab.com has introduced an SOS button on its mobile booking application in response to growing demands for enhanced safety features in such services.
The launch of the feature rose from demands made by the State Transport Authority, which now requires the feature. With the help of the SOS button, passengers can alert the police via the app even when they are not using the taxi service.
“The new safety feature is introduced on the mobile app,” said Setu Shah, spokesperson for Bookmycab.com. “Hence the mobile phone becomes an integral part of this new feature.
“The SOS button appears on the app screen of the mobile phone,” he said.
The STA issued various guidelines in December 2014 to be implemented by licensed fleet taxi operators as well as app-based taxi aggregators.
The STA also declared that they do not recognize operator or aggregators operating without license. The authorities issued these guidelines after a meeting of all the operators and aggregators to enhance safety of the passengers availing these services.
Therefore, Bookmycab.com has introduced the SOS Button in its latest version of the app. SOS is the international Morse code distress signal and a short form for ‘Save Our Souls.’ Passengers can register up to three mobile numbers and email IDs where a message will automatically be sent if passengers are in trouble.
Bookmycab.com claims to be the only licensed call taxi aggregator that has added more safety features proactively. These features include alerting the police by automatically placing a phone call to the number 100, which is the police helpline, and it also alerts the Bookmycab.com control room.
The control room will pull all the details of the taxi used by the passenger on real-time basis. This information is also shared with all the three registered mobile numbers via SMS and email.
Enticing with mobile
The travel and hospitality industry is increasingly finding new ways to use mobile to better the customer experience.
For example, Airbnb is attempting to drive more mcommerce to its mobile Web site by enticing users with a responsive design and more user-friendly features for booking.
The revamped mobile Web experience, designed to look more attractive to guests, seeks to increase the amount of Web traffic Airbnb sees coming from smartphones, which is currently at about 20 percent. The clean redesign has taken away the search functions previously seen on the homepage and now features larger, full-bleed photographs to encourage users to browse listings and book via the mobile device (see story).
Similarly, Priceline.com has integrated Apple Pay into its mobile application to streamline the reservation process for Express Deals, making it the first major online travel agency to adopt the new payment method, according to the company.
With more than a 110 percent growth in Express Deals reserved via mobile since the beginning of 2014, Priceline.com is looking to create an even faster experience for mobile-equipped travelers. Priceline.com also reports that its mobile customers are two-times more likely to choose an alternative payment method such as Apple Pay than its desktop customers (see story).
Bookmycab.com has high hopes for its new SOS feature.
“The feature is introduced following the guidelines issued by the authorities governing the transport system in India,” Mr. Shah said. “This feature will bring a sense of security to the passenger and leads to increased confidence in the service resulting in more bookings.”
Caitlyn Bohannon is an editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York
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