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Uber to launch final phase of UPI-based payment facility today

LiveMint logoLiveMint 23-08-2017 Komal Gupta

New Delhi: Cab hailing firm Uber Technologies Inc. is set to launch the final phase of UPI (Unified Payments Interface)-based payment facility for all its users on Wednesday.

The integration with UPI will allow customers to use their unique IDs to pay for all their Uber rides. Until now, debit/credit cards, cash and Paytm were the payment options available for users on Uber app.

Uber first integrated UPI on its platform in July for users with an Android phone, as part of the initial phase. The company had described it as the “first step” and said that it saw UPI as “the future of Indian payments”.

“The UPI integration in July was phase-I of the launch where we offered our riders the option to use their existing UPI IDs to pay for their Uber rides. With the comprehensive final launch, different options and feature sets will also be unveiled,” said a person familiar with the development, who did not want to be named.

Uber has tied up with Axis Bank and HDFC Bank for UPI-based payments, said a report by The Economic Times on Tuesday.

In April, Uber’s main rival Ola also integrated UPI to its platform. While making payments for Ola rides, a customer now has the option called “Pay by UPI” along with cash, debit/credit card and Ola Money wallet options, PTI quoted an Ola statement in April.

Uber is also expected to launch its own mobile wallet on Wednesday, according to various reports. Mint could not independently verify the news.

Ola already has its own mobile wallet, Ola Money, which was launched in November 2015. According to the Ola website, Ola Money is among the top two digital wallets, allowing users a seamless and convenient payment option for a wide variety of use cases across mobility, travel, food, entertainment, e-commerce, bill payments and mobile recharges. It also allows peer-to-peer transfers, allowing users to transfer money to friends and family.

“It cannot be denied that there is a substantial volume of transactions which takes place in cash mode on Uber platform in India. But Uber is going to revolutionize the digital payments experience soon,” added the person mentioned earlier.

There are more than 450,000 drivers registered with Uber, while Ola has an estimated 650,000 drivers.

In July, former managing director of NPCI A.P. Hota had said e-commerce firm Amazon and cab-hailing service Uber will soon accept UPI payments, according to a PTI report. Noting that UPI is being taken up in a big way, he told the agency, “A good deal of amazing work is underway, Amazon will shortly come in, the testing and integration process is on. Uber process is on; Ola-process has been completed. Money transfer, payment process is being made easier.”

Transactions using UPI rose to a record 11.4 million in July, a five-fold increase since December, according to a statement from NPCI. UPI was launched in August 2016 with 21 banks, and is currently being offered by about 53 banks.

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