Taxi booking app Hailo announced new products that address the findings of its research into the future needs of urban consumers.
The new features are touted as making life easier for passengers and drivers, as well as driving business users back to the black cab.
Pay with Hailo allows users to hail black cabs in the street and then pay for the journey via their Hailo account. Previously, users could only pay using the Hailo app if they had used it to order the cab.
Hailo for Business enables customer to switch between personal and company cards within the app, so allowing them to claim work-related trips on their company expenses.
Finally, Hailo Hub enables users to make multiple bookings for other people, such as clients, guests and customers. It allows different pick-up and drop-off points to be booked, with the people who want to travel receiving an SMS when their cab arrives. They can pay for their journey using the Hailo app or cash.
The company also announced that it is launching its service in Liverpool and Leeds in the UK, along with Singapore.
“Asia in particular signals a market where we can start to see car ownership becoming a thing of the past as we find faster, cheaper more efficient ways to support an increase in city migration and tackle wider world environmental issues,” said Hailo chief marketing officer Gary Bramall.
Hailo also unveiled its Future Cities report, examining how the use of technology will influence the evolution of cities in the future. The report found that technology carried by consumers will give them more control about what they do and allow them to adapt the city to their needs.
Key observations included the emergence of an ‘always on’ culture; changing definitions of privacy and sharing; new payment options enabled by apps; and the popularity of travelling by taxi compared to owning a car.
Hailo now has 20 million users and helps users find a cab every two seconds. However, it was recently reported that it is planning to withdraw from North America after being unable to compete in a market in which rivals Uber and Lyft are engaged in a price war.
In August, it opened up its technology to third-party developers by publishing an API that provides access to information about the availability and estimated arrival time of licensed taxis and enables the booking of trips from third-party apps.