Uber customers in Bengaluru, Delhi and Kolkata will have to worry no more if their e-wallet runs out of money and they need to book a cab.
The US-based cab service provider has introduced the cash payment option in these three cities, taking the number of cities in India where the facility is operational to 21.
Till now, Uber customers in the three cities needed to pay via their Paytm wallet and recently the company had also tied up with Airtel Money.
“We’re thrilled to enable cash as a payment option for our riders today, especially on a day (strike) when commuters across India might find it difficult to get around in their cities. With cash as another payment option, riders have more choice in terms of payment, in order to help them move easier from point A to point B,” Bhavik Rathod, GM, Uber Bangalore told The Financial Express.
Mumbai is likely to be the next city where Uber introduces the cash payment option. The company is reportedly planning to apply to RBI for its own mobile payment wallet in India.
Using the option is quite simple. Instead of using the Paytm wallet while booking a trip, one needs to change the payment method to ‘Cash’. Those using the cash payment facility also need not have any minimum balance in their Paytm wallet to book a ride. However, part payments are not allowed on cash trips with the Paytm wallet and other payment options, and vice versa.
Uber, in a statement, has told its users in Kolkata that some may not be able to see the cash option immediately as they will be rolling out the facility slowly over the next few weeks.
The company has also said there won’t be any dynamic pricing between 7 am to 9 pm in Delhi and Bengaluru. This means, during that slot the company won’t hike its prices if demand for cabs are high, which was common until now.
Uber, which is headquartered in San Franciso and operates in around 60 countries, has time and again faced flak for its surge pricing model.
Defending its pricing strategy, Jambu Palaniappan, head of Middle East, Africa, India expansion at Uber Technologies, had in 2014 told FirstBiz ,
"It is to ensure that customers who really need rides are able to get them. It is core to our business. People will always know that is in effect. We try to make it as transparent as possible. If you ever look when Uber is surging, the messaging is pretty in your face and it needs to be. Let people make that decision. If it is not right for you, we will catch you the next time. If it is, obviously we are available.
In December 2014, an armed assailant had held hostages inside a cafe in central Sydney during a busy working day. According to a Reuters report, many organisations sent their employees home and evacuated their buildings, which put Sydney’s transport system under tremendous pressure.
Uber’s automatic surge hike during the period garnered a lot of criticism from people and eventually they decided to offer free rides to customers.
In another incident, during a subway outage in Toronto earlier this year, Uber’s surge was condemned by users. Prices were reportedly as high as 1.5 times to five times the usual rate.
Uber’s move to disable surge pricing in Delhi and Bengaluru is likely to be welcomed by users who will not have to worry about paying high fares. However, the availability of cars during the slot remains to be seen.