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From VOA Learning English, this is the Technology Report.
Getting a taxi ride in most cities is as easy as raising your hand high in the air. In Johannesburg, getting a taxi ride just got even easier, thanks to a new computer software product for mobile phones. The new SnappCab app lets users call a taxi simply by touching the screen on their smartphone.
Anton van Metzinger and two partners launched their smartphone app in September. He says SnappCab works through the phone’s global positioning system. Touching the GPS connects the user to the closest taxis and lets the user request a ride.
The telephone then provides information about the taxi and its driver. The passenger knows exactly which taxi is coming and can follow its movements on their smartphone.
When the ride is done, the passenger can either pay the driver directly or pay using the phone. Mr. van Metzengir predicts that in a year, most payments will be by credit card.
Yet many people are not willing to make payments with a mobile app. Arthur Goldstuck writes about South African technology. He says many South Africans lack trust in the payment technology. He says the average Internet user needs to have been online for five years or more before they are ready to start buying and paying online.
But there have been success stories. An app called Powertime sells pre-paid, or pay-as-you-go, electricity. Before Powertime, people would have to go to a fueling station or store to buy pre-paid electricity. Powertime has now expanded into paying for other services. Many now use Powertime to pay water bills and airtime for mobile telephones.