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London-based Hailo taxi booking app now available in Singapore

Zafirah Salim | Oct. 31, 2014
New customers can enter promo code “HELLOSING” to receive a free S$10 credit on their first ride this week.

A new third-party taxi mobile app has been launched in Singapore on Wednesday, making it the fifth such service of its kind in the market, following the likes of Uber, GrabTaxi, EasyTaxi and MoobiTaxi.

Last month, London-based mobile app developer Hailo announced that it was entering into a joint venture with SMRT Road Holdings to form Hailo Singapore Pte Ltd, in which both companies said that it will work together in launching this app.

Since the app is now out of beta in Singapore, Hailo said that it has started recruiting drivers, starting with those from its partner SMRT. According to an online report by TODAY, "thousands" of drivers have signed up with them to date.

The company added that Prime Taxi has also joined in to support the new platform, and that it is hopeful of drawing in drivers from other operators.

With regards to what makes this app unique, Hailo's chairman, Ron Zeghibe, said at a media conference that Hailo adopts a different booking system. Hailo does not operate on a "western shootout" format, whereby the fastest bidder wins, he explained. Instead, it assigns the booking to the nearest cab driver.

Consumers can also make cashless payment with their credit cards, without incurring any additional charges. Other features available in other cities, such as its Pay with Hailo - which allows commuters to make payment for cabs not booked via the app - are currently not available now, but Zeghibe said that it will be introduced to this local version of the app in the future.

He added that while he is aware of Hailo's late entry into such a saturated app market, his philosophy is not to be the first player, but to be the smartest player.

The Hailo app is now available for download on both iOS and Android mobile devices. New customers can enter promo code "HELLOSING" to receive a free S$10 credit on their first ride this week.


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