GrabTaxi follows Uber with number masking between drivers and passengers


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Uber’s main competitor in Southeast Asia, GrabTaxi, announced on Tuesday that it has rolled out a new security feature in its push to make users feel more comfortable using car-hailing services — number masking between drivers and passengers. Uber introduced number masking at the end of September.

“[Number masking] creates an anonymous conversation channel between driver and passenger,” the company said in a statement. “Using virtual numbers ensures that your personal contact details are not shown to the driver and vice versa, so there is no record available for either side to contact each other afterwards.”

The new feature is live in Singapore and Malaysia from today, and will roll out in Indonesia, Vietnam, and the Philippines by November. Safety issues in the car-hailing app space have still not been ironed out completely, with the occasional rape allegations surfacing, especially in emerging markets like China and India.

GrabTaxi says this is part of a wider $ 6 million investment into safety measures across the regional markets it operates in, and added that virtual numbers will also benefit drivers by eliminating overseas call charges. The new feature can be used via the in-app call option.

The company now claims more than 141,000 drivers on its platform since its launch in 2012, and says its app has been download close to 8 million times.



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