For those who reside in Korea, perhaps you have seen Kakao Taxi signs on many taxis in the country. Daum Kakao, the maker of South Korea’s most popular messaging app Kakaotalk, launched Kakao Taxi in Korea few months ago. The new service is actually the beginning of Daum Kakao’s initiative to extend online-to-offline products to active users of KakaoTalk. Currently, there are 100 million users of KakaoTalk all over the world.
Using KakaoTaxi is easy and safe. You can download the app from Google Playstore or itunes. The app allows you to type in your pick-up spot (it can also automatically set your location as a pick-up spot) and finds the fastest available taxi based on traffic, distance, and estimated time of arrival.
After typing your destination, the estimated travel time appears on screen. Then press the yellow button “호출하기” to call Kakaotaxis.
When the request is accepted, the app sends the driver’s name, photo, and vehicle description.
- Driver’s name: Kim Ho Deok
- Plate Number: 서울 32자 5286
- Type of car: Grandeur HG
- Arrival time: Within 3 mins.
You can also send a message to the driver but it’s limited to the preset messages.
The app also pushes notifications about its progress toward your location. When the taxi arrives at the pick-up point, the driver calls you to verify if you’re the one who made the request. Sometimes, they just ask before you get inside the taxi.
KakaoTaxi includes some privacy safeguards, including an in-app messaging system for drivers and passengers that automatically deletes chats after the ride is completed. The passengers’ numbers are also masked so drivers can contact their customers without seeing their phone numbers.
Once you ride the taxi, you will receive this message through the app. It contains the details like your pick-up point, destination, time of pick-up, arrival time and the car’s plate number. Just click the yellow button to send it to your friend or family through KakaoTalk. This is the feature that I really like about KakaoTaxi. It is very good for those who are not familiar with the place and those who ride taxis at night.
Once you arrive at your destination, another pop-up message will appear and you can rate the driver and leave comments about the ride. 🙂
Payments can be made in cash, T-money or credit card. I’m glad that there is KakaoTaxi now. When hubby can’t pick me up at my workplace, I can ride the taxi at night without worrying about my safety. What’s nice about it is that I no longer need to guide the driver which way to go since he just follows the navigation system. The downside of this app is that it is available in Korean language only. You have to type your location and destination in Korean characters. I’m sure Daum Kakao will do something about this in the future. If you can’t type Korean characters, you can let a Korean friend type it in for you. 🙂