Diffride e-hailing service launches in Malaysia

Lowest fixed rates for riders, flat MYR5 per day rate for drivers
diffride Malaysia
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E-hailing rivals Grab and MyCar now have a new challenger. Local startup Diff Global Solutions Sdn Bhd today introduced its new e-hailing service called diffride. It is now on a driver partner acquisition drive and aims to have 6,000 drivers and half a million ridership by end of the year.

Diffride’s chief executive officer Hanny Yong said there are already 2,000 registered partner drivers currently, and the company is screening through applicants before submitting to the Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) for approval.

The startup touts itself as a company that offers competitive fares for both passenger and drivers. Passengers pay a flat fee for rides, while drivers only need to pay a flat MYR5 daily.

It is the first e-hailing service to offer this flat fee to drive partners. This allows drivers to keep a larger amount of earnings, unlike competitor services where they take a cut off each ride. This also means cheaper fares for passengers. The service will charge passengers a fee of MYR5 for every five kilometres.

Diffride said however, that the fees may be subject to a review after the year’s end.

For added convenience, riders can book their journeys ahead of time for rides that are more than 60 minutes in duration. Riders can also use their account to book a ride for a friend.

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Payment options offered include cash and cashless options via MOLPay.

Yong also said that diffride is the first e-hailing service to fully comply with the Ministry of Transport’s regulations, where drivers will need to be screened by SPAD.

Transport Minister Anthony Loke Siew Fook, who attended the launch, says the government will not curb the entry of new rideshare services and will instead focus on safety measures and proper regulation.

With safety being a common concern among e-hailing customers, diffride will ensure that driver partners have no summonses or a criminal record when they register with the platform.

Cars must be either owned or be legally authorised to drive and must be less than eight years old. Additionally, the vehicle model must rank three stars or above on the New Car Assessment Programme for South-East Asian Countries (ASEAN NCAP), or its equivalent.

Diffride will also be the first e-hailing service provider to offer telematic technology to their partners. This allows car owners and drivers to track the location of their vehicles, in event of theft. The system also provides an unbiased performance report, in addition to customer-submitted reviews, delivering a reliable evaluation tool. The company has not provided details on when this technology will be ready and deployed.

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The company is also partnering Digi to offer its driver partners a special postpaid mobile plan from as a low as MYR58 with a minimum of 10GB data and unlimited calls, along with monthly rebates.

Also, it is working with Huawei to offer its driver partners special rates on their smartphones.

The diffride app

The app doesn’t look like it’s fully ready and options like hailing rides, adding payment options and others are not functional at this point.

The UI looks “inspired” by Uber, down to the iconography and typography.

You can download the diffride app to try – for iOS (link not live at press time) and Android.

For more information, visit www.diffride.com.my

Initial thoughts

The departure of Uber has opened up the market for new players like MyCar in the e-hailing space. De factor leader Grab has been accused of being a monopoly, with both riders and driver partners complaining of price hikes and lower incentives. So, more competition is great for consumers and driver partners alike. It remains to be seen how diffride’s entry will affect the industry as a whole, but more competition and more choice can’t be a bad thing.

Stay tuned.

Thoughts? Comments? Will diffride make a difference?

Source: The Edge Markets, Malay Mail

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