Local ride-hailing startups Grab has today introduced GrabChat, an integrated instant messaging feature for selected users of the Grab app. GrabChat allows the driver and rider to communicate seamlessly without having to leave the app.
The idea behind GrabChat is rather simple, and addresses an issue within ride-hailing apps that makes it difficult to connect driver and rider after a ride has been confirmed. Contacting a rider or driver requires either a phone call or text message, both of which are expensive when using Grab outside of the country.
Besides that, GrabChat allows driver and rider to send several commonly used template messages, such as “I’m on my way” or “I’m here”. It makes the chats faster and safer – drivers don’t have to type while driving.
Finally, conversations for the current ride will be deleted once the ride is complete, ensuring both parties do not have any personal information. It also has the added benefit of not cluttering your SMS inbox with old conversations with previous Grab drivers.
Starting today, some users of the Grab app will receive an email inviting them to test out GrabChat. Currently, this feature is running on an exclusive beta test for selected riders and drivers, and requires an update to the latest version of the app (v4.8.0). Once the beta testing is complete, the feature will roll out to all Grab users globally.