Ame Digital added this week the love drive: this is a service in partnership with Wappa that offers private car or taxi rides in 2,500 cities in Brazil. The idea is to reinforce the “superapp” of the Americanas by competing with Uber and 99, including the option of a woman driver. But is it worth it?
What is Ame Drive?
Ame Drive works basically as you would expect: enter your departure address, your destination, the type of vehicle you want – private car (if available) or taxi – and pay.
Here, you can use your credit card or balance, including cash back that is in your account. It’s worth noting that runs don’t yield cashback; and there is no way to pay cash.
Wappa has been around for several years and, since 2018, has offered private cars as well as taxis. Ame claims to Exam that the service has 250,000 registered drivers and is available in 2,500 cities in all Brazilian states.
There are several categories on Ame Drive, depending on the city:
- private car, economy
- private car, Premium
- common taxi
- promo taxi (conventional with lower prices)
- black taxi
- taxi with female driver
- taxi adapted for people with special needs
How to use Ame Drive?
Ame Drive is somewhat hidden in the interface; you will have to follow this path on the iPhone or Android:
- in Ame’s app, tap to walk around the city;
- touch love drive;
- release access to your location;
- insert your destination, and edit the starting point if necessary;
- choose the type of car (private or taxi);
- touch Choose payment method and select between the options card, balance or balance + card;
- touch confirm payment and wait for a driver to accept the race.
The service is still relatively crude: for example, you cannot change the destination of a trip or enter an additional stopping point.
There is no cancellation fee for passengers: just tap Cancel Request and choose the reason from the list. The amount reserved on the credit card and/or balance will be refunded within 5 business days. This is the same reversal period as when the driver cancels and the user withdraws from the race.
If you have any problems, you can email or use the in-app chat – there is an “Ame Drive” option in the service. There is also service via telephone 4003-2120 or 0800-229-7667 (the latter is only for Rio de Janeiro).
Is it worth using Ame Drive?
Ame Digital has been striving to become a superapp, which brings together all kinds of services without downloading or additional registration: it offers credit cards, allows you to make loans, sells insurance and dental plans, among others.
Ame Drive fits this strategy of marketing services with support from partners – in this case, Wappa. This can be useful for you if Uber or 99 are not present in your city, or if they don’t have cars available at the moment.
Either way, if you have the Ame wallet installed on your cell phone, you’ll have an additional option when it comes to individual transport. Being optimistic, the news could spur competition in this sector, especially now that we no longer have Cabify – but let’s wait and see how Ame Drive develops.
For now, in a quick test of the Techblog in the city of São Paulo, Uber is able to offer better prices. These are the values for a run from Avenida Rebouças, 1000 to Avenida Paulista, 1000 in São Paulo:
|Ame Digital / Wappa||Uber|
|Private car (Economy / UberX)||not available||BRL 11.97|
|Taxi promo||BRL 16.29||BRL 14.47|
|common taxi||BRL 20.56||BRL 16 – BRL 21|
|black taxi||BRL 20.56||not available|
|Private car (Premium / Uber Black)||not available||BRL 17.70|