The days of hailing a cab may soon be in the past thanks to a new taxi app that promises passengers can order their ride, watch it approach and pay using a smartphone.

Zoomy has just been launched in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch and already boasts a 1500-strong taxi driver subscription. It was last night the country's top-rating travel iPhone app.

Developed by Zoomy co-founders James Fisk, 37, and Neil MacDonald, 28, it follows the country's first e-hailing app, Cab Chooze, launched here in June.

Mr Fisk said the company, a team of eight, had been developing the app for the past year.


"Catching taxis is often hit or miss," he said. "Often they turn up late, sometimes not at all and we thought, how could we use smartphone technology to make the whole experience a more enjoyable and safer experience?"

It is the pair's first smartphone venture. The project has attracted financial backing from some of the brains behind GrabOne.

Taxi apps have attracted criticism here and overseas for possible safety issues, but Mr Fisk believes their invention - which displays a photo of the taxi driver, the vehicle's registration and maps the taxi location - is safer than conventional methods.

"We believe apps are a safer way to order taxis."

The ability to see a driver's profile, car registration and feedback from other Zoomy users had not been available before, he said.

Zoomy can be downloaded free from Apple iTunes or Google Play.