India’s biggest app-based taxi hailer Ola is all set to launch a new post-paid billing service as soon as next week, two people familiar with the matter told Tech in Asia.
The new service, called Ola Exclusive as of now, will work on a subscription-based model, allowing users to pay for car rides at the end of a billing cycle. It is part of the company’s broader push toward improving customer experience, one of the sources said.
In India, Ola rivals Uber in the app-based taxi industry. Both companies have tried several different services and customizations to woo Indian consumers, including motorbike taxis, wifi-enabled cabs, and cash payments.
Ola had even gone a step further by introducing grocery and food deliveries, but eventually folded them as Uber kept adding heat with big investments.
Gaining loyal customers is key to winning the taxi race, and many investors have expressed doubts about Ola spreading itself too thin as competition gets intense.
The launch of the new service could be a pivotal move for Ola to gain customer stickiness. It has been falling behind Uber in big ticket launches (or at least announcements, as is the case with bike taxis).
“*Ola Exclusive will allow a subscription on a monthly, weekly, or quarterly basis, and will offer services like free wifi, rewards, and an even better supply of cars to customers*,” one of the people aware of the matter told Tech in Asia.
In other words, if free wifi and reward points are not tempting enough, Ola is planning to promise that customers who opt for the subscription model will have a higher supply of cars around them than users who do not sign up.
A screen grab of the service page that Tech in Asia saw displays all three of those on offer.
We could not determine subscription pricing and Ola did not respond to an email seeking comment.