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Ola brings Apple Pay to ridesharing for Australia and New Zealand

Ola has become the first major rideshare platform to integrate Apple Pay in Australia and New Zealand. The Apple payment system will be a lead feature of a major upgrade for the app, according to a new report.

According to the company, adopting Apple Pay is a nod to the company's broader dedication to data security and user experience. The new Ola app will begin rolling out to existing customers in Australia and New Zealand this September.

The company says the Apple Pay integration will reduce friction for new customers, who will not need to add a payment method if Apple Pay is already set up on their iOS device.

The integration with Apple Pay improves security for customers and puts Ola on the front foot with an evolving global payments landscape, such as the strong customer authentication (SCA) requirements coming into effect in the European market on September 14, the company states.

SCA will ensure that electronic payments are performed with multi-factor authentication to increase security, and Apple Pay meets these requirements.

According to the company, the integration is an important element of Ola's first international app upgrade since launch, piloting in Australia and New Zealand prior to a global rollout.

Ola Australia and New Zealand managing director Simon Smith says, “We are proud to be leading the way in the integration of payment technologies that improve security for rideshare users in Australia.

“The wider app overhaul has been shaped by local customer research and we're confident these new updates and features will not only create a more user-friendly, frictionless transportation experience, but future-proof our app as we expand our offering and integrate with other services,” says Smith.

Key features of the app update include:

Destination-led experience: Ola availability, projected cost and pick-up Estimated Time until Arrival (ETA) for both Prime (standard) and SUV (six seat) categories are simultaneously visible in-app to aid the selection process.

Feed: The inbox feature has been replaced by a more dynamic feed, available by swiping up from the bottom of the screen to improve communication.

Dynamic category ordering: Category selection is now personalised according to customer usage patterns for a more individual experience.

In ride view of route and ETA to destination: Route and ETA to destination will now be shown during the ride, in real time, allowing users to plan travel times more accurately.

Usual pickup: Regular pickup locations set based on customer usage patterns, for improved pick-up experience.

The app upgrade will be implemented on a rolling basis, with Google Pay integration, multi-stop trips and ride scheduling to launch over the coming months, the company says.

Ola is currently operating in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, the Gold Coast, Adelaide, Perth, Canberra and now the Sunshine Coast, as well as Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch in New Zealand.

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