The explosion of mobile apps in Cambodia offering food delivery, e-commerce, and ride-hailing services is a positive sign of the country’s growing and maturing digital landscape. It’s been a year since local ride-hailing pioneers such as Passapp and EXNET were joined in December 2017 by Singaporean giant Grab, and together they have helped to spread the convenience and value of digital transport services in more and more locations across the Kingdom.
The result has largely spelt the end of haggling over prices with tuktuk drivers, and the inevitable challenge of reaching your destination without asking for directions. Now, simply inputting the desired destination into one of the 10 or so ride-hailing apps calls a driver to your location, brings up a non-negotiable fare for both riders and drivers, and a map to be followed. Easy. The ability of some of the apps to share ride information with friends and family is a nice safety feature, and the training and insuring of drivers — and safety checks of their vehicles — are also welcome additions to the Kingdom’s transport sector.
In contrast to existing ride-hailing companies, Grab Cambodia has brought a number of service firsts to the Kingdom, and also partnered with government and Geeks favourites Impact Hub Phnom Penh on a number of exciting initiatives. These include GrabRewards, which works like a loyalty scheme for users of Grabs motorbike, tuktuk and car services; GrabPay, which links credit and debit cards to allow in-app cashless payments for rides; and Grab for Business, which means staff of participating companies can take rides without needing to file receipts and reimbursement claims.
It will be interesting to see how competing ride-hailing firms attempt to compete against Grab’s momentum, and what further advantages both drivers and users will experience in 2019. The recent launch of DriveUp from the team behind Meal Temple, and TADA’s blockchain-based ride-hailing technology, are both aiming to challenge the more established players.
For now, Grab and Passapp continue to battle for supremacy of Cambodia’s ride-hailing options. With the arrival of competitors and the need for existing apps to remain relevant, 2019 promises to be an interesting year for transport in the Kingdom, and as always, Geeks in Cambodia will keep you updated on everything that happens!