Recently, Grab has bought over the Uber business in Singapore. It has technically created a monopoly that we cannot avoid. Having almost 100% of Singapore’s mobile market for providing taxi hailing service, it has the greatest control of future taxi hailing prices and they can do whatever they desire. Hence, we need another competitor in the market, that will still keep costs low for consumers and yet provide decent salary for those self-employed taxi drivers.
I was greeted with a lot of text boxes, that is kind of a hassle for someone who just wants to use the app and get a taxi. The signup process was indeed too troublesome. I took almost 5 mins just to sign up for the app, in contrast to Grab which only require me to sign up with my phone number. The process for registration on Grab is much quicker and require less brain work. Ryde even require me to enter my email address, given name and family name, and even whether I am a male or female. I don’t really understand or know the intention of requiring so much information. For the sake of this post, I will sacrifice my particulars and privacy so that I can continue on the interface.I went online and on the Apple App Store researching on another taxi hailing service application and found another company or app developer who has created “RYDE”. Although it is not as well-known and heard of often, the description on the App Info page seems very convincing so I decided to give it a try and downloaded the app. However, it wasn’t a really pleasant experience even first starting out. I tried signing up using my Facebook. As soon as it reaches “Use facebook to sign in” the app repeatedly crashes, not allowing me to even use the app. I am quite disappointed that even a simple login button doesn’t work. I didn’t give up just on that though. I tried many times but it simply crashes the app. Finally, I decided to “Create New Account” instead of using Facebook.
Other than the setup and registration, the interface is quite clean but a bit confusing. I was introduced with quite a lot of options beyond just taxi hailing by them. There were even “Uber” available and “Insurance” on the front page of the app. This got me quite interested. I decided to tap on Insurance and I could see how they are also selling “Car” and “travel” insurance for FWD and Aviva. I guess they are getting some commission for selling those insurance but I am not quite sure about their intention.
There are also other interesting but useful features like “Traffic Cam”, “Traffic News”, “Promo” and “Play” which are probably do not use, but I am quite sure it can be useful for other people.
There is surprisingly “RydePay” which is a rival to “GrabPay”. However, it does not seem that much interesting, or unique to GrabPay and there doesn’t seem to be any promotions currently.
Ryde does not have a map showing nearby taxis or any information whatsoever to the areas around you. Unlike Grab which is more direct and can be easier to use because a map shows up immediately when you open the app. It is harder to visualize the route taken from getting to one location to the next, as it is not as clear on the Ryde app compared to Grab.
In conclusion, Grab still has the upper hand in providing just taxi hailing services and payment. Ryde has some other nitty features that are less important to have in taxi hailing services. Sadly, I have to give it to Grab having to competitive edge at this point as they are a longer established company which does taxi hailing service very well.