MyTeksi, the Malaysian brand of transport-hailing mobile app GrabTaxi, is investing $6 million to beef up the security features of its mobile app service, to improve driver and passenger safety.
The startup has committed the investment to develop more features like number masking and providing training and education to drivers across the region.
In a press statement, MyTeksi (known as GrabTaxi in other markets) introduced number masking, which allows for completely anonymous calls between drivers and passengers to ensure extra security and privacy for both parties.
The startup explained that the feature connects the passenger or the driver to a virtual number if one needs to make a call to the other, after booking for a taxi or car via the MyTeksi app. Personal mobile numbers will no longer be displayed to ensure privacy.
“This commitment to safety is recognised by women in Malaysia, with over eight out of 10 women1 acknowledging that taxis are safer now than before MyTeksi was available, with over seven out of 10 women feeling safer to take taxis at night,” the statement read.
Acting head of MyTeksi, Vincent Tan said MyTeksi has grown to be one of the most trusted transport brands in Southeast Asia because the company has always placed safety among its highest priorities.
“We must always stay vigilant and believe that the key to ensuring our drivers and passengers have the best ride experience by introducing preventive measures, such as limiting the personal details available to both parties,” Tan said.
Travellers in Southeast Asia can use the app to book transport across Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. With number masking, the virtual number will be connected as a local call, even if passengers are using a foreign mobile number, MyTeksi said.
This way, call charges can be reduced for drivers and passengers, as long as they are connected via roaming.
The number masking feature is being progressively rolled out to users in Singapore and Malaysia from October 6, and will be available to all MyTeksi app users in these markets by end-October 2015.
The feature will be implemented in Indonesia, Philippines and Vietnam by November 2015.
MyTeksi assures that its drivers are screened and their profiles made available to passengers when a booking is made. It also has another safety feature, called “Share My Ride” which allows passengers to share the details of their taxi ride with others for tracking.