OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Distracted Driving claimed the lives of 3,166 people in 2017. It’s hard for many people to ignore the phone when they're driving; the app OnMyWay will pay you if you do.
"This is all it is, literally, just not using your phone. It's so simple,” Kristina Baker, OnMyWay app user in Omaha said.
She downloaded OnMyWay after hearing about it on social media. She said it’s nice to earn money for something she was already doing.
"I love the app,” Baker said. “You're helping others make that conscious decision to not use their phone. Accidents are going to happen, but you do not have to use your cell phone when you're driving.”
Chloe Palmer, OnMyWay Co-Founder, said she recognized what a problem distracted driving is and wanted to give people an incentive for driving safely.
"As long as your phone is locked,” Palmer said. “We have a proprietary technology that recognizes 10-12 mph. And as long as you keep your phone locked, we will pay you for all of those miles.”
The money you earn can be redeemed through offers posted by specific retailers in the app. The Shem Creek Inn has an offer for $25 off a purchase of $25 or more.
“One we like to promote local businesses,” Aaron Rowland, Area General Manager, The Shem Creek Inn and Palms Ocean Front Hotel said. “Two it’s a great way to get exposure especially for something that is helping a known issue which is texting and driving.”
Rowland said there was no fee to join the app as a retailer. Retailers pay when customers redeem their dollars.
The app was created in South Carolina, right now, most of the offers are from Charleston businesses. Offers are set up as reimbursement, meaning you’ll need to link a credit card to pay the full amount up front and wait for your cash back. Palmer said after feedback from their users, they are working on an update to include national retailers, and more recognizable names have signed on like Amazon. The update will also give discounts up front, more like a coupon.
“We have our system 100-percent encrypted,” Palmer said. “All of your information is completely safe and secure. The third party software we use to link your bank account/credit cards (Plaid) is also secure. It's used by many big companies like Venmo.”
"I feel it's pretty safe,” Baker said. “I know this isn't for everybody and some people are really concerned about sharing your locations. Honestly, I don't really do that but for this I do because I think it's for a good cause.”
So far, Baker has earned $163. Users get $0.05 for each safe mile, $2 for referrals, and $0.02 for each safe mile referrals drive.
Baker hasn’t tried to redeem any offers yet. But Jordan Lash said people have been able to redeem their app dollars in his men’s apparel store.
“Sometimes it takes something like this to get people amped up about it,” Baker said.