SEOUL, June 1 (Korea Bizwire) – Kakao will be releasing a new mobile application called ‘Kakao Driver’ starting May 31 that enables users to easily hail taxis and make payments.
Until now, cab drivers were required to pay about 20 to 40 percent of collected taxi fares, 1 million won in insurance, and 40,000 to 50,000 won to participate in other marketing programs every month. ‘Kakao Driver’, however, will only be requiring the driver to pay 20 percent of the collected taxi fare.
The new service is not without its critics, however. Taxi companies and other taxi programs have been in an uproar, viewing ‘Kakao Driver’ as a direct threat to their own offerings.
Business owners and cab drivers opposing the ‘Kakao Driver’ app even held a press conference in March to publicly denounce ‘Kakao Driver’, insisting that Kakao is wielding its power as a major corporation to destroy local business.
Correspondingly, other critics pointed out that ‘Kakao Taxi’, one of Kakao’s earlier apps, increased the overall call taxi business but brought ruin to mid-sized call taxi businesses.
‘The 020 business is just in line with what the world at large is heading towards,’ stated an official from Kakao. “We cooperated with cab companies before the release of our new service, and we plan to continue our discussions with them,” he emphasized.
The basic fare with ‘Kakao Driver’ will be 15,000 won, with any additional fare calculated by the mobile app’s own taxi meter. Users can monitor the taxi fare and even pay with a pre-registered card. The new ‘Kakao Driver’ apps aims to grow its user base by offering a discount coupon of 10,000 won that can be used up to 10 different times, valid for the entire month of June.
By Esther J. Kim (email@example.com)