Kakao, the provider of messenger app KakaoTalk, launched its premium taxi service in Seoul on Tuesday.

A driver displays the KakaoTaxi Black app in Seoul on Tuesday.

The service, called KakaoTaxi Black, uses only luxury imported cars like Mercedes-Benz and Lexus, and drivers wear signature navy uniforms.

Rides can be booked on-demand via Kakao's popular messaging app with fares starting at W8,000. The cars aren't marked as taxis and all payments are made via the app, which also tracks ride distance and calculates the fare.

"We will first observe reactions from customers and see if we will introduce other payment methods such as cash and credit cards later on," a company spokesman said.

The service will expand to other cities next year.

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