- Bolt Kenya has updated its platform with a new security feature called "driver asked to pay off-the-app," which allows users to decline and report offline trips and payments.
- Linda Ndungu, the company’s Country Manager, stated that consistently reported drivers will face sanctions, such as temporary bans and account suspensions.
- This news comes just a few weeks after the company announced that it had begun testing a new feature for rider verification.
Riders can use the new feature when drivers request that they go offline by selecting the option 'the driver asked to pay off the app' in the app's Safety Toolkit.
They can also use it if a driver requests that the rider cancel the trip and communicate offline or demands payment beyond the prearranged fare.
Offline interaction is a concern because users become vulnerable as safety features like GPS tracking and SOS coverage in the app do not work offline.
However, this isn’t the first time Bolt Kenya has taken action against driver misconduct.
Remember, in June 2023, media personality Ciku Muiruri reported that her daughter and a friend had been kidnapped after booking a Bolt ride? The kidnappers demanded KSh 500,000 ($3,580) for each girl.
Bolt stated that it actively collaborated with the authorities to offer pertinent, case-specific information that bolstered the investigation's findings.
In November 2023, the company announced that it had expelled over 5,000 drivers in six months for violating the platform's safety standards. It also disclosed plans to invest KSh 20 million ($130,000) to boost safety practices on the platform.
In October 2023, the e-hailing company suspended a driver caught in a video for sexual misconduct towards a rider.
Meanwhile, in December 2023, Bolt South Africa revealed that the most recent app version includes a validation procedure for new riders. New riders must upload a clear selfie and a copy of an identity document to complete this process.
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