In a country where most of the population still possess a feature phone, mobile application based cab service is not for everyone. Many cab services like Uber and Careem require the person to own a smartphone.
Apart from owning a smartphone, a person needs high-speed internet to book a ride for themselves and then there is a problem of learning how to navigate the mobile application.
Despite the fact that Uber and Careem are working very well in the Pakistani market, in a country where 70 percent of the citizens use a feature phone, a huge chunk of the market is still untapped. But not anymore as a new company “mLift” offers taxi services that can be accessed with or without a smartphone.
mLift dares to challenge the established a highly popular Uber and Careem’s taxi service by defining its own niche market and going after the bigger piece of the pie.
How to use mLift
Here’s how you can book a ride for yourself:
- Dial 7555 from your Jazz Number
- Talk to your nearest driver
- Negotiate your fare (like a loyal Pakistani citizen)
- Wait for your Taxi to come you pick from your doorstep
How it Works
When a mobile user dials 7555, the company detects the location of the caller and redirects the call to the nearest taxi driver. Meaning your location data isn’t shared with anyone other than the company itself.
A person can negotiate the fare with their Taxi driver and has the option to ditch him and talk to the next one without paying any charges for the call. Currently, the company has partnered with the telecom giant Jazz which is helping them with the service and is hoping to get into the same arrangement with other telcos.
According to reports, a few telecom companies are reluctant to join hands with mLift due to privacy issues as for the taxi service, the company needs to locate the phone caller’s location. But, there doesn’t seem to be any issue when people are tracked using their mobile application by Uber and Careem, so telecom companies don’t have to fret over this issue.
The company ensures that all the drivers have a driving license and would be verified using Biometric technology. Also, it guarantees that they will hold verified route permits from the relevant traffic authorities.
Uber and Careem earlier this year were scandalized in Pakistan over failing to get the relevant route permits and registering the private cars with any regulatory body. The services were said to be illegal in Punjab and Sindh, but it was later clarified that they aren’t banned yet and a committee was formed to bring them under the tax bracket.
Instead of creating a percentage based partnership like Uber and Careem, mLift will only take PKR 10 for every lead they generate for the drivers. They provide Taxi service through cars and rickshaws but we are likely to see motorbikes as well.
Currently, they are operating in Islamabad only and in future will expand to Sialkot, Faisalabad, Multan. If the company is successful winning the hearts of the majority mobile users, then who knows they can present the same service through mobile application as well, thus dominating Uber and Careem in Pakistan.