Uber Kenya, the Kenyan subsidiary of the world-famous ride-hailing service, is banking on a new security feature known as ‘phone anonymization’ in a bid to broaden its appeal among users,
“Starting today, you and your driver will no longer be able to see each other’s phone numbers when using the Uber in-app call feature,” Uber Kenya said in a statement to its customers issued on September 5th, 2018.
“We have introduced a secure phone call that protects your personal contact details, as well as your driver’s so that there is never any unwanted communication post-trip,” the company added.
Uber Kenya also added an In-app chat feature as an easy way to test drivers through the Uber app at no extra cost.
Phone number anonymization complies with Uber’s community guidelines, which promote mutual respect between riders and drivers. This is done by ensuring that a user’s personal contact details are protected during every trip so that there is never any unwanted communication after a trip.
The feature ensures that when a rider and driver-partner contact each other regarding a trip, both phone numbers are somewhat distorted, meaning that neither party will be able to view the other’s personal contact details.
On the other hand, In-app chat is free to use service and is the easiest way to get in touch once a driver has accepted a trip.
“With this, drivers can also get in touch with you to update you on their whereabouts,” Uber’s communication team told its customers.
The features are the company’s way of helping customers feel more secure. They come at a time when competition among taxi hailing services is still rife in Kenya. Other ride-hailing services have also been adding new features and pricing strategies aimed at gaining an edge over their competitors.
Uber, however, is confident that its new features will serve their purpose and help maintain its reputation as one of the leading service providers in the industry.