Uber Reinvents Its Payment Model, Introduces Digital Wallets

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It seems like Uber is not leaving any stone unturned when it comes to offering the right services to its customers. Once, and still for some parts of the world, Uber was a company where a traveler could just press a button to get a cab and step out at any stop without having to rummage through the depths of their wallets to look for cash and change. Now this San Francisco based company has so highly Indianized its way of working that it goes against everything it once stood for. And of course, in a good way.

Reuters | Kai Pfaffenbach

The rail-hailing app Uber started with accepting credit cards as the mode of payment across the world, where the fare at the end of ride was automatically billed. However, when RBI enforced two-factor authorization process for using debit/credit cards in India in August 2014, the app started looking for ways to tackle it. They soon partnered with Paytm and Airtel Money so customer could pay via mobile wallets and then introduced payment through cash just in India, which its rival, Ola Cabs, have been using.

In an attempt to extend options for its riders, according to a report in Economic Times, Uber plans to launch its own digital wallet in India. This will again be a departure from its usual mode of payment via credit card used worldwide. "Uber has been working on the closed wallet feature (since) right after the RBI mandate was given," said one source directly familiar with the development to ET. "It will still continue working with other (digital) wallets." 

Where Paytm allows its users to upload a sum of Rs 10,000, Uber has still set the limit to Rs 5,000. Quoting from the publication, “People privy to Uber's plans told ET that the company will begin by offering a closed wallet that will not require RBI authorization, with commuters being able to upload up to a maximum of Rs 5,000.”

It is highly commendable to see the changes Uber has made in its way of working to accommodate and adapt to the services in India. It shows not only their commitment to services but also establishes India as their priority market. Money is getting digitalized and mobile wallets have proven to be a secure and easy way of making payments, a big reason why more consumer internet companies are moving towards this direction.