Bolt is testing its new rider verification feature to upgrade driver safety, and in-app feature that implements a stringent verification process for new riders joining the Bolt platform.

New riders to the platform will be asked to take a selfie before they are able to place a ride-hailing order. For the selfie to be valid, it needs to be an authentic picture of a physically present person, with the face clearly visible. The rider will not be able to place a ride-hailing order if their selfie is not valid.

The rider must also upload an identification document, which Bolt will check against the selfie. The validation process takes a couple of minutes, and riders only have to take a selfie the first time they place an order. This feature will be tested in South Africa, and requires the latest version of the app to use.

Takura Malaba, regional manager: east and southern Africa at Bolt, says: “At Bolt, we know from our 150-million-plus customers and network of 3,5-million fleet, driver and courier partners that feeling safe is a critical part of a high-quality ride-hailing experience. That’s why safety is our top priority, and rider verification is the newest feature we’re testing dedicated to upgrading driver safety.

“It’s part of our ongoing investment in new products, features, and our dedicated in-house specially trained safety team, to ensure that we can continue to improve the safety ecosystem of the Bolt app.”

The tests joining a suite of existing driver safety features, including an emergency response service integrated into the app.