Grab is taking over Uber in South-East Asia. How will it affect you?


  • Tech News
  • Monday, 26 Mar 2018

This photo illustration taken on March 26, 2018 shows the Grab and Uber booking application seen on a smart phone in Singapore. Singapore-based ride-hailing firm Grab announced on March 26 it has bought US rival Uber's business in Southeast Asia, ending a fierce battle for market share in the region. / AFP PHOTO / Roslan RAHMAN

So Grab has taken over Uber in South-East Asia. Great. But how will that affect the users?

Firstly, in an e-mail sent to its users, Grab says that "in the immediate term, nothing will change and operations will continue as normal."

Uber's services will still be available in South-East Asia until April 8, but after that, passengers can only use the Grab app (available on iOS and Android) to book their rides.

For existing Uber users, they can still view their past trips and ratings in the app. The account remains active and can be used when in any country outside South-East Asia where Uber operates.

The data which the users shared with Uber (excluding payment information) will be transferred to Grab, but it won't be visible in the Grab app. Transitioning Uber users are still required to register their account with Grab before they can start using the services.

In the email, Grab assures that there won't be any changes to the fares. "For services that are on dynamic fares such as GrabCar and JustGrab, fares will continue to be calculated based on a base distance, with a dynamic surcharge that will be applied based on factors including demand and supply in that particular point in time, traffic conditions and estimated time taken for the journey.

"This is a fair calculation for drivers as they navigate varying road conditions throughout the day. This means fares are lower in low demand periods – and vice versa – which helps match drivers to passengers efficiently throughout the day," it states.

Passengers who choose GrabTaxi (Metered) and GrabTaxi (Executive) options will continue to pay by metered fares that are set by the taxi companies.

So will the users be able to get a ride faster? Perhaps, but Grab does warn that during this transition, there may be service disruptions. However, in the following weeks, users can expect a faster booking experience as more drivers join the Grab platform.

There won't be any changes to the existing Grab drivers as the benefits and incentives structure remains the same. However, the existing Uber drivers are recommended to sign up if they wish to join the Grab platform.

The driver's Uber account information, which includes the past history and ratings, will be transferred to Grab upon notice. Grab says that it will be contacting and helping Uber drivers through the "onboarding" process with Grab so that all drivers can continue to drive as usual after Uber's service in South-East Asia ends in April.

Uber will pay its drivers for the fares and corresponding incentives from the completed rides they picked up using the Uber Partner app. Drivers can contact Uber support within the "Help" section of their Uber app or on help.Uber.com.

As for Uber Eats, by May, users will be invited to try GrabFood – Uber Eats and Grab’s new food delivery app. Users will be required to sign up with a fresh account and profile on the new app, while their Uber Eats order history will remain in the old app.

All the restaurants on Uber Eats will be available on GrabFood, with the same prices, and Grab promises to add more restaurants to the list. You can find more information on GrabFood here.


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