Corporate rideshare service takes cost and hassle out of reimbursing employee travel expenses

Ola's new corporate rideshare service bills employers directly, allowing them to reduce expenses.
Ola's new corporate rideshare service bills employers directly, allowing them to reduce expenses. Photo credit: Getty.

Collecting taxi receipts may soon become a thing of the past, as rideshare companies such as Ola allow work travel to be billed electronically.

From Tuesday, Ola is extending its services to corporate travelers. Rather than collecting receipts and manually reimbursing expenses, businesses using the service can pay employees' travel fares from a centralised account. 

Ola New Zealand country manager Brian Dewil said that COVID-19 has caused many businesses to review their processes. As employees return to work, there is increased demand for flexible travel. 

"The launch of Ola Corporate demonstrates our ability to grow and diversify our offering in New Zealand.

"We're excited to work with businesses across the country to help their employees travel easily and safely and continue to meet changing mobility needs of all types of users," Dewil said.

A personalised dashboard allows businesses to register employees and check account activity. Once they're set up, employees can book corporate rides using the Ola app, selecting 'corporate ride' as the payment method.

By streamlining processes, businesses could cut employee travel expenses by "up to 25 percent", Dewil added.

The company also confirmed that Ola Corporate didn't charge a booking or wait fee. 

As more employees work from home, businesses could look at potential cost savings of using corporate rideshare options instead of paying for company carparks. Costs could also be reduced through spending less time collecting and processing travel receipts. 

Founded in India in 2011, with operations in Australia and the UK, Ola purports to offer fairer conditions for drivers by taking a lower commission cut. 

It was launched in New Zealand in 2018 and operates in 14 cities, including Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch. A tipping option was launched at the end of June, which the  company said gave drivers the full amount.

Rideshare competitor Uber already offers a similar service through Uber for Business and other alternatives include Corporate Cabs and Blue Bubble Taxis.

As prices differ across providers and can change according to demand, location and vehicle, businesses and riders can look at discounts and weigh up safety features and service, to find the best deal.