Famous for its cashless payment experience, ridesharing company Uber has announced that it will be expanding a cash payments trial that started in India to four new cities in the country as it aims to adapt to local payment preferences and demands. According to the company, the new cities (Ahmedabad, Chandigarh, Jaipur, and Kochi) join Hyderabad and Nairobi, Kenya as the only international destinations where cash is an acceptable form of payment for an Uber ride. In these cities, passengers must select the cash option before ordering a taxi.
Commenting on the expansion of trial, Bhavik Rathod, general manager of Uber Bangalore, told TechCrunch in an interview,
“We know that cash is a dominant payment options for millions of in India, especially in small cities. This [pilot] is part of our investment in India, we’re deeply committed to this country.”
The move in favor of cash is on one hand surprising as Uber’s cashless experience helped generate its value proposition of lower prices to the consumer. However, with Indian consumers and consumers in developing countries in general, still preferring the use of cash over electronic payments, cash acceptance is a smart business decision. The expansion of cash payments will though cost the company more and make prices less appealing to consumers thus any roll-out of cash payments in conjunction with electronic payments should be done on a country by country basis.
Overview by Tristan-Hugo-Webb, Associate Director, Global Payments Advisory Service at Mercator Advisory Group
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