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Cab hailing app, Uber has its services in about 300 countries, but, it seems it is very much concerned about its presence in India and is ready to take up any step in a bid to maintain its foothold in the country and show its competitors a thumb down. It was just few weeks back, when it went beyond its elite image and introduced auto booking service in the country. Now, the company which is known for the ease it provides in fare payments, has gone one step ahead to provide Indian customers a domestic touch of the app, as the company is now experimenting with cash payments. The cash payment option, which, it currently is testing in the city of Hyderabad will be introduced in other cities as well in the coming time, if successful.

India would be first country to have such option, the company says that the idea is to gain a deeper understanding of consumer behaviour/ preferences/ usage trends so that it can develop more robust payment options for the local market, but it is obvious that the move is a direct all and out war against rival Ola.

“Uber is all about providing our community with more options that deliver hassle-free convenience at the push of a button. Tradition dictates that cash plays a big role for Indian consumers. As a data-driven technology company that has seen strong growth in India we feel this is the right time to explore the extent of this predisposition when it comes to our service. India, for us, is a hotbed for innovation globally and experiments such as this provide us deeper insight into the local market and help us innovate around the evolving needs of consumers,” said Siddharth Shanker, Hyderabad GM, Uber.

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Users can choose the mode of payment before requesting for the ride and post the ride they can pay driver in cash. When a user request for cash as the mode of payment, in this situation, they do not require to maintain any particular minimum balance to book a ride, usually before booking ride on Uber, users have to maintain minimum balance.

In India, other cab booking companies already allows customers to make payments via cash, and these had introduced mode of payment via wallet looking at Uber. But, it is to be noted that, like Ola, users will not have option to  make part payments on cash trips with the Paytm wallet and vice versa. Last month, Uber had introduced cash payments for its newly launched autorickshaw service in Delhi.

Why Hyderabad?

“Hyderabad was the only city specifically selected for this experiment because it provides us with the right environment to test a new payment option amongst a sizeable and sophisticated rider and driver community,” Uber.

Uber has been working hard to make sure it is giving tough competition to other domestic players in the country which include Ola, Taxiforsure, Meru among others. Either by playing the domestic way of making payments, introducing low fare cabs, or auto booking and even by rolling out new features in context of safety such as the SOS feature and coming up with exciting campaigns to have more users signup for its services. The company, previously, had also acquired a Delhi-based company, renamed Uber India Technology (UIT), to be at the centre of the firm’s operations in Delhi.

Currently, Ola has majority share in the cab booking market after it acquired Taxiforsure, and has been actively looking to expand its offering, previously, it introduced restaurant delivery via OlaCafe and is also expected to introduce grocery delivery soon.

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