Uber Money: Company’s new move to attract drivers with financial services; India launch likely next year

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Published: November 3, 2019 7:36:24 PM

Uber Money will provide real-time access to earnings after every trip through the Uber Debit account instead of waiting for weekly payments or cashing out via Instant Pay option.

The company would also be launching a global debit card. (Image source: Uber.com)

Uber is looking to empower its driver and delivery (courier) partners with a large set of financial services. The ride-hailing company recently announced setting up a vertical called Uber Money that is working on financial products and technologies to offer new services in 2020 — a move likely aimed to have drivers stick to its platform even as it faces competition from global competitors including Lyft, Grab, Ola etc. and focuses on profitability. Uber Money, for instance, will provide real-time access to earnings after every trip through the Uber Debit account instead of waiting for weekly payments or cashing out via Instant Pay option, Uber said in a company blog post.

The company would also be launching a global debit card. The service has already been launched in the US with over 70 per cent of driver payments made using Instant Pay, CNBC reported quoting Peter Hazlehurst, the head of Uber Money. Another service includes Uber Wallet with which “earners and spenders will now be able to easily track their earning and spending history, manage and move their money, and discover new Uber financial products all in one place.” The wallet will be available on the Driver app in the coming weeks followed by Uber and Uber Eats as well.

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While the blog post didn’t disclose the countries beyond the US where the company is planning to launch Uber Money, but Brazil, Australia and India could be among the markets. “The reality is that the needs of our partners in the U.S. and in Brazil and in Australia and in India mirror in many ways the needs of consumers as well, particularly in the cash-heavy economies. And the opportunity that we have is to expand to help all of those people have access to financial services,” Hazlehurst told CNBC.

The company had conducted a survey recently among the US drivers’ interest in access to small loans from Uber, Hazlehurst said, confirming a report from Recode. However, whether all the drivers will actually take the loan cannot be confirmed but in multiple countries such as Brazil, India and Peru, Uber already offers microloans to drivers, he added.

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