Along with sharing their kids’ joys and tears, offering words of wisdom (or just dad jokes) and all the other emotional aspects, parenting is also about managing people.
That practical aspect comes into clearer focus when one kid has to get to ballet class, the other has soccer practice, one spouse has an emergency dental appointment and the other is in the middle of a business meeting. When all the usual helpful neighbors aren’t free to drive – and Lyft, Uber and taxis all seem to carry an air of stranger-danger – things might start to feel dire. A parent might even be inspired to quit his or her job.
Bilal Khan actually did.
When faced with that family transportation tangle and safety riddle, Khan decided he’d hit upon a powerful market need – one for a secure, safe rideshare that busy mother and father might belief with their youngsters. He left his job to assist create what he hopes is the answer: Zemcar.
In a current interview with PYMNTS, Khan, the corporate’s co-founder and CPO, and Juliette Kayyem, its co-founder and CEO, defined what it takes to make a scalable rideshare service aimed toward assuaging mother and father’ fears.
Safe and Secure
Zemcar’s focus is catering to oldsters who have to ship their younger youngsters on a drive with out being anxious about safety and security.
To that finish, the corporate’s drivers are seen as caregivers. They should cross background and reference checks, telephone and in-individual interviews and security coaching earlier than being cleared to drive, in accordance with Kayyem. The automotive itself can also be inspected for security and options, and ongoing verification is meant to make sure that every little thing stays as much as Zemcar’s requirements.
Parents can choose drivers and place them right into a pool of favorites based mostly on their very own experiences or on suggestions from household and pals. They can request a selected driver and, ought to one thing come up, can draw on a backup from their trusted driver pool or select from the bigger group of Zemcar-approved choices.
“We bring drivers to the platform who satisfy standards that we believe parents would want, but then parents have another review system for which drivers are getting into their pool,” Kayyem stated.
“It’s hard to convince parents to let their kids go independently,” Khan added. “What we’ve seen is that they asked questions initially, but then once they used the service … there are so many additional safety features for riders that makes them comfortable on the first ride, and then they keep using that car.”
Parents can watch the journey progress on a map or via a reside video feed. They also can name the driving force, or give audio or textual content instruction to the driving force or to her supervisor. Smartphone notifications alert mother and father a number of occasions in the course of the course of, together with when the driving force is on her method, when the experience begins and when it finishes. And, as an additional layer of safety, youngsters have their very own app with a mum or dad-to-youngster chat function and a panic button that informs buyer help specialists in the event that they really feel distressed.
This security focus additionally provides Zemcar a special mannequin than the highest rideshares for adults, Khan stated. While a buyer might depend on Uber as a one-off answer in a pinch, Zemcar’s clients have a tendency to make use of the service regularly and schedule rides forward of time.
“Once they use the service, they keep on using it,” Khan stated. “And a lot of it is scheduled rides, unlike Uber.”
The Payment Problem
Even if the service is designed for youngsters, the corporate and its drivers nonetheless have to receives a commission. To make that occur, Zemcar presently makes use of a 3rd-social gathering supplier to course of funds.
Drivers obtain their pay on a weekly foundation by way of direct deposit, with funds held in escrow between cost dates. Keeping these funds digital was necessary to make sure enterprise scalability, Khan stated.
“If we start doing checks and we don’t do it automatically, it could become a bottleneck,” he added.
Given Zemcar’s concentrate on mother or father clients, the corporate’s viewers is on the older aspect, and sometimes makes use of credit score and debit playing cards. As such, cost is accomplished with playing cards saved on file. With mother and father typically turning into repeat customers, Khan famous that including loyalty programs could possibly be a pretty function sooner or later.
Zemcar notes on its web site that its rideshare service can also be obtainable for seniors and adults, and the corporate is at present eyeing enlargement to new audiences. With that, additionally it is wanting so as to add new cost choices, together with Apple Pay, Google Pay and PayPal.
Providers and Platforms
Selecting a cost supplier was not a simple selection. In balancing considerations together with safety, the power to simply accept and ship funds and straightforward integration into Zemcar’s platform, the corporate bumped into some issues.
“There are a lot of typical merchant payment providers out there, but few marketplace payment providers,” Khan stated.
While Zemcar ultimately discovered its cost vendor, it finally determined to construct and add additional options to seize the type of knowledge the corporate craved.
“We had to build a whole payment platform with Zemcar,” Khan defined.
That course of was carried out to mix the cost providers with the corporate’s enterprise mannequin. It wanted to not solely obtain a cost securely, but in addition monitor why it was being paid – together with whether or not it was related to a specific type of journey or associated to a promotion.
Zemcar additionally wanted to decide on a cost supplier that would scale with the enterprise, as progress is excessive on the corporate’s want listing. Though at present targeted on Boston, it goals to increase to cities throughout the U.S. and all over the world.
“It’s a niche market that we are targeting, but it’s a huge niche market,” Khan stated. “It’s a $10 billion-plus market just in the U.S., and globally it’s even bigger.”
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