Take a look at the above slideshare for the top 30 online cab aggregators around the world according to Valoriser Consultants, online mobile taxi booking apps have taken the world by storm by solving a basic demand and supply problem between passengers and taxis. Indeed, o
f late, since late last year (2013), regional and global 3rd party taxi booking mobile O2O apps (GrabTaxi, EasyTaxi, UberTaxi and soon Hailo) have been jostling amongst the incumbent taxi providers' booking services (e.g. ComfortDelgro, SMRT) and been the rage in the Singapore taxi booking scene. It's not that taxi booking through phone calls to the call centres of the incumbent taxi service providers or via their respective apps have not been available. It's just that the supply, availability and fulfilment of booking jobs have not met with the growing demand.
Here are my view of the 5 reasons why Grab Easy Uber Hailo Taxis are trending in the busy and sleepless Singapore city.
1. Singapore is a regional hub in Southeast Asia
- Growing of people including PMETs who need to get quickly from point A to point B
Singapore is among the top 3 cities in the world with the least hours of sleep (not really something to be proud of ... but really lots of things are going on around here and constantly in minds of people living here)
2. Viable Market with an active daily 1,000,000 taxi riderships base
- Anecdotally about 15% are through bookings today.
- Singapore consumers are used to mobile commerce - more than 15% of ecommerce (think Groupon like daily deals) are purchased via the mobile smartphones with credit card payment.
3. Inconvenient payment - non-acceptance of Visa credit cards
- With the option of paying taxi fares via Visa credit card on ComfortDelgro and TransCab taxis being withdrawn in July 2013 after these two largest taxi operators refused to waive an administrative fee imposed on passengers, so entered EasyTaxi and UberTaxi with the consumer proposition offering frictionless payment.
4. Underserved taxi booking
- Current taxi service providers (ComfortDelgro, SMRT and so on) have been unable to fulfill all their daily incoming bookings and demand due to a number of reasons - changing shift windows, varying strategies, convenience and maximising yield, costs etc.
5. Disgruntled supply base about 30,000 taxis and more than 40,000 drivers
- A growing number of taxi drivers here are exploring alternatives, i.e. more than 1 3rd party taxi booking app these days - disintermediation and choice.
- Taxi drivers are looking for easy non-fuss solutions which benefit their livelihood - bigger app screens, intuitive user experience, quicker acknowledgment of bookings, convenient payment and acknowledgement receipts, choice of solutions and so on.
- Just hop into a taxi and start a conversation with your friendly taxi driver, and you will learn lots!
So, here are my top 5 reasons why Grab Easy Uber Hailo (virtual fleet) Taxis are picking up in Singapore. The market is really heating up in the taxi booking scene - first with GrabTaxi and EasyTaxi earlier this year and now with UberTaxi since June '14 and Hailo soon to join in the fray. To add, there is also a fifth local player, MoobiTaxi who works with ComfortDelgro and SMRT taxis.
- What will the future hold for taxi booking market space?
- Will we see another taxi service provider to increase the current 30,000 physical taxi fleet?
- Will another international player like GetTaxi enter the Singapore market?
Let's look forward to better user experiences for both the taxi drivers and taxi passengers which I am sure we will see lots more innovation in this daily consumer lifestyle habit.