Answering the consumer demand for stronger privacy protection, Careem, the leading ride-hailing service in the MENA region, Turkey and Pakistan recently launched a new call masking feature. Other than Pakistan, the option is live in UAE and Saudi Arabia and soon will be introduced in other regional markets.
The feature gives Careem’s customers the option to keep their phone numbers undisclosed to the Captain (driver), thus adding another layer to customer privacy and security. The reverse is also working: Captains have the option of masking their numbers from customers, a feature requested by Careem’s female Captains who are giving rides to both male and female passengers.
You can contact your Careem Captain without sharing your number by tapping on “Call anonymously”. Your call will be redirected through our platform, and the Captain will see an incoming call from our call center numbers. Same goes for your Captain.
In case he needs to reach out to you, he can dial a designated call center number and that number will appear on your screen, keeping his personal number private too. Call masking is a unique feature, not being offered by any other ride-hailing company in the region.
Call masking is the latest in a series of safety features introduced by Careem in the recent past such ride tracker sharing and these are aimed at reinforcing the company’s commitment to making Careem the most trusted ride-hailing app of choice.
In fact, lack of trust is one of the key reasons keeping people off e-commerce platforms in the Middle East & North Africa, according to a 2017 CIGI-Ipsos Global Survey on Internet Security & Trust. The report showed that for 49% of consumers in the region, lack of trust is a top reason for not purchasing goods or services online.
With the call masking feature in place, the Captain or customer will only receive an encrypted number instead of the user’s real phone number, thus ensuring their personal data remains completely safe and unexposed.
“Ensuring the safety and security of our customers in all of the markets where we operate is our number one priority at Careem,” said Mudassir Sheikha, CEO and co-founder, Careem. “Introducing technology that simplifies their lives without compromising their privacy will remain among our key focus areas as we continue to work our way towards strengthening Careem’s position as the answer to the region’s most pressing travel-associated challenges.
“Keeping in mind the social and cultural characteristics specific to certain markets, where Careem has become the travel companion of choice for thousands of women, features such as call masking will enhance the level of trust and confidence customers have in our services – thereby enabling them to be mobile while having greater peace of mind. We expect this feature will prove particularly popular in markets where consumer demand for privacy protection is more pronounced, such as Saudi Arabia and Pakistan,” Sheikha continued.
In Pakistan, where Careem operates in 11 cities, Careem has empowered women with a reliable means to get around and it is not surprising that more than 70% of Careem’s users are females.
“As a homegrown brand, Careem understands better than others the demands and dynamics unique to the markets in which we operate, and our aim is always to provide our users with localized solutions that not only respond to their needs and desires, but are respectful of their cultural values and norms,” Sheikha added.