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Grab launches GrabNow to encourage taxi drivers to go cashless

Grab has launched GrabNow in Singapore, which allows passengers to flag down and connect instantly with a GrabTaxi driver.

Grab has launched GrabNow in Singapore, which allows passengers to flag down and connect instantly with a GrabTaxi driver through the app, a move the ride-sharing company hopes will encourage drivers to go cashless.

Grab is Uber's biggest rival in Singapore and this move will help the company step up its competition in the ride-hailing market.

After flagging down a taxi that has a GrabNow sticker, passengers will need to launch the Grab app, select the “Standard Taxi” service, followed by the “GrabNow” option. This will prompt the passenger’s and their GrabTaxi driver-partner’s mobile devices to pair through Google Nearby or a 6-digit code issued from the driver’s app.

The trip will then be registered as a GrabTaxi ride and can be paid using Grab’s in-app cashless payment feature GrabPay, or by cash.

The decision to launch GrabNow came after Grab realised that as their customers moved towards cashless payments, a majority of street-hail taxi rides are still transacted in cash because drivers found it a hassle to wait for financial institutions to process their earnings after deposit.

With this new feature, all GrabTaxi driver-partners with POSB or DBS bank accounts can instantly transfer fares collected through GrabPay into their bank accounts, and withdraw their earnings at any of the bank’s ATMs, without having to wait for the standard processing time of one working day.

“GrabNow not only digitises the street-hailing experience, but is also expected to drive more cashless transactions via GrabPay,” said Melvin Vu, head of GrabTaxi Singapore.

“We understand that many taxi drivers are still hesitant to accept cashless payments due to the extra processing time for credit and debit card transactions.

“We believe that our latest Instant Cash Out feature will encourage taxi drivers to embrace the convenience of cashless payment, and bring more taxi-drivers into the cashless society.”

Grab recently participated in a social media campaign with rival Uber to promote reducing traffic emissions ahead of Singapore's National Day