Ola launches ‘fully offline’ booking facility in Mumbai & other cities
Taxi aggregator Ola today announced the launch of ‘Ola Offline’ across key metros in the country in a bid to tap customers who are unable to use data services on their phones.
The feature will enable customers to book a cab even without internet. The customer has to send his location details to Ola via SMS following which the taxi aggregator will share driver details with the customer. The customer will then have to call the driver to fix the ride, Ola said in a statement here.
Ola relies on the user’s registered mobile number, which is uses for the billing. The payment for the offline ride can be made in cash or using Ola Money.
The ‘Offline’ feature was piloted in several smaller markets like Indore and Nagpur, since June this year.
The feature will be rolled out across all the 102 cities that Ola operates in, over the coming weeks, starting with four metros, including Mumbai.
The feature will be available across all cab categories like Micro, Mini, Prime and Lux.
Back in August, rival Uber had also launched a ‘Dial an Uber’ facility which allowed users to book a cab without having to download the aggregator’s app.
However, the facility still relied on filling a form on its website, which required internet connection.
In contrast, Ola’s booking option works fully offline.
When compared side by side, Uber’s offline option is primarily aimed at users who don’t wish to install the app due to storage limitations, while Ola is trying to tackle the issue of intermittent speed and/or connectivity.