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Ola Cabs switches to PayU as main payment gateway.

BENGALURU: Ola, an online marketplace for cab drivers, has switched its primary payment gateway to PayU from Zaakpay as the startup competes with Uber and Meru to offer customers the facility of seamless mobile payment transactions.

The change follows the discovery of two bugs in Ola’s taxi-hailing mobile app, which allowed unethical individuals with basic programming knowledge to enjoy unlimited free cab rides—one at the expense of Ola and the other at the expense of genuine users, whose wallets become compromised.

An Ola spokesman confirmed the payment gateway had been changed and said the bugs have been fixed in the latest version of the app.

“At the end of the day, both Ola and Uber want to give customers the best experience, so it is critical to make the payments process seamless,” said Nitin Gupta, co-founder and CEO of PayU India.

According to Gupta, the success rate of topping up Ola’s mobile wallet has risen to 91% after it went live with PayU four weeks ago. The earlier rate was about 70%, as per estimates by company executives, while the industry average is 80%.

To differentiate the payment experience, PayU has introduced a feature that senses the one-time password that’s sent in a text message to a user’s mobile phone, dispensing with the need to type it in.

Ola, operated by Mumbai-based ANI Technologies, claims it does 200,000 rides every day in India. It says about 40% of its bookings are paid for using its mobile wallet, which was developed in-house, with the payment backend powered by PayU.

Ola launched its in-app wallet in September. Commuters can top up their Ola Money accounts using net banking, credit or debit cards.