India is all set to become one of the six countries to have Uber’s financial service Uber Money. The global cab-hailing company is reportedly planning to launch Uber Money in India for the financial inclusion of the drivers within the next six to eight months.
Through Uber Money, the company’s driving partners will get their financial benefits directly. As part of the initiative, the company has introduced an instant-pay option to allow drivers to review their earnings after each ride. Moreover, the platform allows drivers to redeem cash according to their needs.
However, the company will be adopting different strategies for different countries to bring out these features to the drivers. For instance, In the US, Uber will also be launching a cashback-enabled debit card and account with Green Dot.
Meanwhile, in India, Uber is reportedly planning to look into a unified payments interface (UPI). Since UPI transfers are much more preferred in India than in the US, rolling the feature out in the country should not be a problem for the company. The report also suggests that many features of Uber Money were built in India.
To extend its features, Uber has also been in talks with fuel companies to enable cashback for its drivers, as per the report.
How Is Uber Doing In India?
During his recent visit to India, Uber chief Dara Khosrowshahi said that India, which is among its top 10 markets, is very important to the company. However, Uber has been struggling to return profits from the India market amid the pressure from investors. The Uber Eats and uberMOTO businesses have been going slow as well.
Uber was also in discussion to siphon off Uber Eats, but decided to give it another shot and told ET that it would not tone down its food delivery service.
In terms of cab-sharing, the company seems to be doing just fine. According to its initial public offering (IPO) filling, Uber generated 13% of its total bookings from India in 2018.
By launching a UPI-backed financial service, Uber will be in competition with other payment platforms like Flipkart’s Phone Pe, Google Pay and Paytm. Moreover, Uber’s cab-hailing rival Ola already runs its financial service called Ola Money since 2015.
Now the question remains: Will Uber be able to take on its competitors, or will Uber Money make it to the list of the company’s not-so-well businesses?
According to Datalabs by Inc42’s most recent report on the fintech sector, $6.97 Bn was raised by 2707 Indian fintech startups across 453 deals from 2014-2018, with the maximum amount of $3.3 Bn coming in 2017. Fintech companies such as Paytm, PolicyBazaar, BillDesk, PhonePe and PineLabs have already attained unicorn status.