Urban mobility app 99 to debut WhatsApp ride-hailing feature
Urban mobility app 99 to debut WhatsApp ride-hailing feature

Urban mobility app 99 to debut WhatsApp ride-hailing feature

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Contxto – Booking a private ride over the 99 app in Brazil will now be as simple as sending a WhatsApp message. This is following an iconic partnership between the two companies. 

The new 99 feature won’t even require the transportation app to be downloaded on a device. This will allow patrons to save storage space on top of limiting data usage by using WhatsApp instead. 

Also read: Brazilian delivery startup 99 on the up and up with new same-day driver payments with BePay

Dial 99 for user-friendliness!

Really, this is quite a powerful combination that could reach millions. First, though, let’s deconstruct. 

Founded in 2012 as a car hire app, the SoftBank-funded 99 was eventually acquired by DiDi. After which, 99 proceeded to expand as an urban mobility platform across Brazil, alongside its counterpart 99Food.

As app usage has grown by 54 percent since the onset of Covid-19, today 99 has over 20 million passengers using the service in its native market.

Then we have WhatsApp owned by the conglomerate Facebook with over 120 million monthly users in Brazil alone. Suffice to say that this iconic pairing will result in a much wider reach to prospective users for both parties. 

How to book a 99 ride over WhatsApp

This new service will coincide with 99’s private cars, known as 99Pops.

Simply send a message to the official 99 number and the interface will process the information, followed by data registration and verification procedures. Then the passenger will be able to specify the destination and pick-up location, all over chat. 

Also automatically included in the chat interface will be expected value of the trip, waiting time, driver’s name, and license plate information. At the end of the trip, the passenger will receive a WhatsApp message with the value of the trip that’s paid directly to the driver in cash.

The architects behind this plan also intend to break down barriers to modern technology that still exist in parts of Brazil.

“Brazil is the first country in the world to have this technology that will benefit millions of people,” said Livia Pozzi, director of operations at 99. “The new solution is part of our strategy to increase people’s access to more efficient, safe and multimodal urban mobility.” 

Enhanced data security relying on encrypted technology will also be part of this new solution, according to Gabriela Comazzetto, Business Director at Facebook Brasil. The end result will be unprecedented access to urban mobility in the most populated Latin American country.

-JA

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