Ola's new game plan: Autos and Kaali-Peeli taxis go cashless

The competition in the cab hailing market is getting intense by the day. Days after acquiring TaxiForSure for $200 million, Ola cabs on Wednesday launched cashless rides on both auto rickshaws and kali-peeli taxis through its in-app Ola money wallet.

Through the Ola app, customers can book an auto without having to haggle for fares in 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. For now, the auto-rickshaw facility will not be available in Mumbai and Delhi.

This will be the first payment solution for auto-rickshaws in India. 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.

 Olas new game plan: Autos and Kaali-Peeli taxis go cashless

Image: CNN IBN

Driver details are sent via SMS as well and the location of the auto/kaali peeli taxi will be traceable in real time. Users will not have to pay cash to the auto drivers and the fare amount will be automatically deducted from their Ola Money account.

"With cashless rides for autos and Kaali-Peelis now, the experience for both customers and drivers becomes seamless. We believe digital payments will shape the future of personal transportation in India," said Pallav Singh, Vice President - Operations at Ola.

How the process works:
To pay through the in-app wallet, the customer has to just 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 one-time password that the user will receive through an SMS. Ola money is then automatically deducted from the user's account.

The Ola Wallet can be topped up through a credit card, debit card or online banking. Following this, the fare amount is automatically deducted from the customer’s wallet after ride completion and a receipt is emailed to them.

Drivers can withdraw their payments anytime from the prepaid ATM card that is linked to their Ola account.

Ola's rival Uber too offers cashless payment. It has exclusively tied up with Paytm to enable users to pay for their cab rides after Reserve Bank of India issued a directive that Card Not Present (CNP) transactions for purchases of goods and services in India had to be processed through banks and payments needed to be made in rupees only.

Ola, founded in January 2011 by IIT Bombay alumni Bhavish Aggarwal and Ankit Bhati, does not allow pre-reservation of autos and the booking needs to be done only through the 'Ride Now' option.

Updated Date: Mar 11, 2015 17:20:49 IST