Getmecab.com, the online cab rentals service, has launched a mobile web interface to allow users to search for and make cab bookings through their mobile phones. The site allows users to plan and book outstation and local trips and airport transfers. According to the company, the site has been designed in HTML5 and works across major mobile platforms including Android, iOS, Blackberry and Symbian.
We tested the site on an Android and an iPhone. The site has been optimised for the mobile screen and is touch friendly with large buttons for links and listings, and loads fast. One can search for cabs and make bookings by entering details like his e-mail address and mobile number. We accidentally made a confirmed booking, since we assumed that the site would ask us to make an advance payment, as is the case with the desktop version. But the site confirmed our booking after we entered our details and accepted the terms and conditions.
No payments: At the moment, the mobile site does not integrate a payment option. Amit Lakhotia, one of the co-founders of Getmecab informed MediaNama, that the failure rates of payments on mobile sites is higher compared to desktop sites, in addition to security concerns. So, instead of taking payments on the mobile site for confirming a booking, the service confirms the booking by contacting the customer via phone and sending him a direct payment link. At times, after customer confirmation, the cab goes directly, and even in cases of no show, which Lakhotia claims are very few, the cost that the company incurs is not significant as cabs are sent from a garage in closest to the pick-up location. He did however indicate that the service might integrate prepaid payments products for payments, in the future.
Launching mobile apps: The mobile site was launched earlier this month, and the company is still testing the site and taking customer feedback, said Lakhotia. He also informed that Getmecab intends to launch Android and Windows Phone 7 apps shortly. When asked why the service needs to offer native apps when an HTML5 site covers all platforms, he replied that certain features such as storing multiple pick-up points, can be offered through native apps to extend the service’s functionality.
Getmecab’s competitor, Olacabs, also offers a mobile website with similar features. Both Meru and EasyCabs, radio taxi services also offer mobile web interfaces, however, they allow customers to search and make bookings only after logging in.