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Uber now accepts cash payments in four more cities in India

Taxi-hailing app
service Uber is expanding its cash payments trial to four new cities in the
country as it aims to offer greater choice and reach new customers.

Taxi-hailing app
service Uber is expanding its cash payments trial to four new cities in the
country as it aims to offer greater choice and reach new customers.

The company’s
cash payments test started in Hyderabad in May has now been extended to cover
Ahmedabad, Chandigarh, Jaipur, and Kochi, reports TechCrunch. In the original
pilot, passengers must select cash payments before ordering their ride in order
to use the option.

“We know that
cash is a dominant payment options for millions of in India, especially in
small cities,” Bhavik Rathod, general manager of Uber Bangalore, told
TechCrunch in an interview. “This [pilot] is part of our investment in India,
we’re deeply committed to this country.”

Rathod added in
the report that the response to cash payments had been “tremendous.” The
company hasn’t yet disclosed what its long term plans are regarding cash
payments, but the option could be a boon if introduced in many emerging markets
where credit card ownership is proportionately lower than the West and Uber’s
rivals already offer the payment option.

Accepting cash
might seem like a piece of cake for Uber, but Rathod explained in the report
that it required signification “innovation on the backend” of the company’s
platform.

“Drivers and
riders have always been carrying cash, so we had to understand their behavior
and assess which tech could support this,” he added in the report. That was
done using a combination of Uber’s India-focused team, based in the South Asian
country, and its centralized tech team in San Francisco.

Besides this
cash payments trial, Uber offers a range of payment options in India. The
company added Paytm’s wallet which lets customers load their account using
debit or credit cards, and internet banking too. Regulations from The Reserve
Bank of India (RBI) forced the Paytm introduction, but Uber recently re-added
support for direct credit (and debit) card payments using a two-factor
authentication system that satisfies RBI’s requirements.

The company
hired a president to run Uber India, expanded into seven new cities to take it
to 18 overall (India is now its second largest market behind the U.S.), added
new safety features and more stringent driver vetting. On top of that, earlier
this month it announced plans to invest $50 million in a support center in
Hyderabad in partnership with local authorities.

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