Consumers Oppose Taxi-hailing Platforms' Introduction of Tip Function | Be Korea-savvy

Consumers Oppose Taxi-hailing Platforms’ Introduction of Tip Function

This file photo taken on Nov. 3, 2022, shows a taxi affiliated with Kakao Mobility, South Korea's leading ride-hailing app. (Yonhap)

This file photo taken on Nov. 3, 2022, shows a taxi affiliated with Kakao Mobility, South Korea’s leading ride-hailing app. (Yonhap)

SEOUL, Aug. 21 (Korea Bizwire)A majority of South Korean consumers are against the idea of implementing a tipping feature for taxi-hailing services, a survey showed Sunday.

According to a survey conducted by Opensurvey with a panel of 1,000 individuals aged from their 20s to 50s, the proportion of respondents who were inclined to oppose the introduction of a tip function in taxi-hailing apps amounted to 71.7 percent.

The percentage of individuals with unfavorable views towards the incorporation of tipping functions by various taxi-hailing platforms was notably high.

Specifically, 36.7 percent held a very negative perception, while 21.6 percent had a negative perception. In contrast, only 3.6 percent had a very positive view, and 10.5 percent had a positive view.

Kakao Mobility, South Korea’s leading ride-hailing app, introduced a trial-based tip feature last month.

The option to provide tips becomes available solely when passengers award the driver a 5-star rating following their use of the taxi-hailing service.

Passengers can choose between three tip amounts — 1,000 won (US$0.75), 1,500 won or 2,000 won.

Kakao Mobility emphasized that the decision to tip is entirely at the discretion of passengers. The company does not collect any commission from the tips offered.

Nonetheless, concerns have arisen due to the rise in taxi fares this year, increasing the financial burden on taxi users.

There is apprehension that the emerging tip culture might evolve into a customary or quasi-obligatory practice, similar to that in the U.S.

According to the survey, 53 percent of respondents indicated that domestic taxi fares are relatively high, which is twice the percentage of those who find the fares adequate (24.5 percent).

In reality, taxi fares in South Korea are comparatively low compared to other member countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

However, the survey results revealed a disparity in the passengers’ perspective.

Kevin Lee (

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