Australian taxi-hailing startup GoCatch has announced a play for corporate travellers, signing BlackBerry and American Express as partners in the initiative.
GoCatch is an app that lets users call and pay for cabs. The app and its competitors has met with resistance from Cabcharge and the taxi industry since it eliminates the need for dispatchers. In addition to BlackBerry 10, GoCatch is available for Apple, Android and Windows Phone.
In an announcement today, GoCatch said it will target business customers by releasing an app for BlackBerry 10 and supporting corporate and other payments by American Express. The app also allows corporate customers to offer tips to drives to encourage faster pickup.
“We've had strong interest from corporates for an improved corporate taxi account solution,” GoCatch CEO Andrew Campbell told Techworld Australia. “We are working on a solution that will also free Australian companies from the paperwork, fraud and pain associated with administering a corporate taxi account.”
GoCatch plans to invest in marketing, sales and business development for the corporate segment after it finishes building that service, Campbell said.
While several companies with BlackBerry fleets, including Woolworths and Qantas, have announced moves to the Apple iPhone or bring your own device (BYOD), and BlackBerry itself has recently put itself up for sale, Campbell voiced optimism about the mobile manufacturer’s future.
“We are also seeing people catching taxis with BB10, small numbers to start with, but they are growing. I don't have a crystal ball, but I wouldn't write off BB too soon,” he said.
GoCatch is facing increasing competition in Australia from the likes of Ingogo and most recently the popular American app, Uber.
Uber believes price will give it an advantage in this area, said the company’s Sydney general manager, David Rohrsheim. “Price is the most important feature for business, and Uber is the cheapest way to book a taxi, since we have 0 per cent credit card surcharge,” he said.
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