Enhancing OTP flow on Ola-app

Background: We must have witnessed an OTP being sent to us whenever we book a cab with Ola. The OTP is mandatory for starting the ride. As soon as we board the cab, the driver asks for it. The OTP is sent via SMS and can also be found on the Ola app once the cab is booked.

Problems with current flow: The current flow has following pain points:

  1. Memorizing the OTP: This is perhaps the most tedious part. As soon as you board the Ola cab, even before greeting you, the driver asks for the OTP. Hence, the OTP should be on your tips. The problem gets more aggravated when you are taking ‘Ola-Share’ ride. You don’t want to waste the time of your co-passengers and hence you have to memorize the OTP.
  2. Dependency on app: If you can’t memorize the OTP, you have to open Ola app to find out. Now that requires effort, since the app takes considerable time to fire-up.
  3. Dependency on mobile-network: On the previous point, there is a definite argument saying that the OTP is also sent over SMS. True that! But just think, doesn’t that create a dependency on your service providers as well? There have been considerable instances when the OTP was sent after I completed the ride.
  4. Average customer-experience: Amalgamation of the above points implies “not so good” customer-experience.

Suggested solution: A very simple (refer: KISS principle) solution to the above problem is allowing the users to set their custom PIN. Yes, in a similar way where users can set password for their Ola-account.

This can be compared to debit/credit card PIN. Each card has an associated PIN which is mandatory for carrying out transactions. Similarly, each Ola account will have a PIN which can be shared with the driver while boarding the cab.

This PIN can be 4-digit long, allowing only numbers. Since the PIN is set by the user, problems like, memorizing the PIN, dependency on network provider and frequent need to fire Ola app is already taken care of.

Placing the PIN on Ola app: The PIN can be placed under “Profile & settings”. The wire-frame below depicts the exact location on the Ola app.

Conclusion: For existing customers, a prompt of step-by-step setting up the PIN can be configured on the app. For new customers, a form-field asking for “Ride PIN” should be available on the sign-up form.

This solution may not have a direct impact on the number of transactions for Ola, but it will surely enhance the customer-experience. Very nicely articulated by Bill Gates, “ Every day we’re saying, ‘How can we keep this customer happy?’ How can we get ahead in innovation by doing this, because if we don’t, somebody else will”.