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By 9 October 2013 | Categories: news

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A local startup company - SnappCab - is looking to change the way South Africans use cab services, by enabling commuters to track and pay for meter taxi services via an application on their smartphones.

The SnappCab service is already available in Johannesburg, with launches to follow in the near future within Cape Town and Durban.

How does it work?

Once downloaded, users need to register their details and log into the app (done only once) and their account will be automatically activated. More than one person can be given access to a SnappCab account, which should encourage groups and families to make use of the service.

Hailing a cab via SnappCab is done in the following manner:

  • Log into the app on their smartphone, which will automatically find your location.
  • Click on the button to “e-hail” a cab, which will connect the user to the closest cabs to their physical location.
  • Users can open the request to any cab in the nearby vicinity. Alternatively, they are able to specify that they will only accept responses from their preferred cab companies, which can be pre-selected and saved.
  • When a cab driver accepts the call with his/her mobile device, locations are shared between the two parties along with the estimated time of arrival of the cab. A user is provided by the identifying photo, name, type of vehicle, and contact details of the meter taxi and can track their location on a map using the app.
  • In the event that the user is busy at the venue where they will be collected from and their mobile device goes into sleep mode, an sms will alert them when the cab is outside to pick them up.

Once the journey is complete, commuters can pay for the service using cash or by using their credit or debit card. The details of the latter can be loaded onto ones SnappCab account at any time. These card details are stored securely with MyGate,  a Level 1 PCI Certified South African payment gateway and not with SnappCab.

This multiplatform smartphone app is currently available for iOS and Android powered mobile devices, and can be downloaded from the Apple App Store and Google Play. It will soon make its way onto the Windows Phone Store for Windows Phone 8 powered handsets and BlackBerry World for BlackBerry 10 and BlackBerry 7 operating smartphones as well.

SnappCab, local news, South Africa, app downloads, Android, iOS, Google Play, mobile OS, mobile platform, Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban

To the point

The locally developed app is the brainchild of Anton van Metzinger, Nathan Sasto and David Storey and was developed for two reasons. Chief amongst these is to get more South Africans out of their privately owned cars and into cabs, especially if the customer consumed alcohol at  party or function and secondly, to create jobs.

“South Africans are relatively new to the use of metered cabs. While the industry is growing, people are often wary of using a cab service largely because of lack of accessibility, variable quality and non-transparent pricing,” said Van Metzinger. “Our intention is that SnappCab will provide cab users with an easy, safe and reliable means of hailing a cab, while at the same time supporting the development and growth of the industry.”

Check out our latest Android Apps of the month here and newest iOS Apps of the month here.

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