Russian users can now book their car ride with BlaBlaCar through Yandex.Checkout. BlaBlaCar is a global ridesharing service connecting people who need to travel with drivers who have empty seats travelling the same way. The Paris-based company announces starting its monetization process in Russia, following the example of other countries.
BlaBlaCar allows drivers to share empty seats in their car with passengers who travel the same way. If someone is planning a trip from one city to another and they use BlaBlaCar, the service connects people who want a ride and handle the payments to cover motorizing costs. When the company first came to Russia in 2014, it started providing Russian users with a free access to book their trips via desktop or mobile: users only had to pay cash to the driver. The company approach is to let the members use the service first, see its value, and only then start charging a small fee.
The company will now take a small fee for every online booking, which will not be bigger than 20 percent of the whole fare. This is aimed at reducing the number of cancellations and will guarantee to the driver that places in his car will be secured. According to BlaBlaCar, the whole ride will still cost much less than the price of a train ticket. Nothing will change for the drivers who will continue to be part of the BlaBlaCar community free of charge.
Using Yandex.Checkout, users will be able to pay for booking a ride via BlaBlaCar website or its mobile app. The service will accept payments via bank cards and e-wallets. In the future, Yandex.Checkout will also support payments via the online banking and mobile carrier billing. Users are expected to continue to make cost contribution to the driver by cash during the trip.
“BlaBlaCar is currently present in 22 countries and has been monetized in at least half of them. Starting to charge a fee from the car passenger in Russia, we are following the example of our European colleagues, – says Nikolay Petrov, business development manager for BlaBlaCar in Russia, – We were very selective while choosing a payment solution provider: we conducted market research, talked to our partners and reviewed a number of different players on the market. It was essential for us to provide our users with an opportunity for quick and safe online payments together with a choice of popular local payment methods. Eventually, we chose Yandex.Checkout and we are sure that our users will appreciate its convenience, security and accessibility“.