Following in the footsteps of rival Ola, cab-hailing firm Uber Technologies, Inc. has announced the launch of a Unified Payments Interface (UPI)-based payment facility for users in India.
The integration with UPI will allow Uber's customers to use their unique IDs to pay for rides. Until now, debit and credit cards, digital wallet Paytm and cash were the payment options available to Uber users. The taxi-hailing firm has tied up with Axis Bank and HDFC Bank for the facility.
Meanwhile, David Richter, senior vice president of global business, Uber, reaffirmed that India remained a priority market for the ride-sharing firm. "Outside the US, India, along with Brazil and Mexico, is our priority market," he said.
"We do about 9.4 million trips a week in India," he added.
Uber claims to have clocked double-digit growth in India and completed 500 million trips in under four years of operations. It has around 1,000 employees in the country, of which nearly 100 are engineers.
Dilip Asbe, chief operating officer, National Payments Corporation of India, said, "Since nearly 60% of app-based taxi drivers continue to make cash transactions, Uber's integration with BHIM/UPI will provide a stimulus to adoption of digital payments."
Ola, which also runs captive digital wallet Ola Money, integrated UPI on its platform in April.
Union minister for communications and information technology Ravi Shankar Prasad, who was present at the launch in New Delhi, said: "India’s digital payments economy alone will be bigger than $500 billion in five years. Integration of Uber app with UPI-BHIM will boost it."
UPI has seen tremendous traction in recent months. The technology, which offers complete interoperability, allows users to send funds from one bank account to another. One can send and receive money by just using a unique UPI ID, eliminating the need to fill out IFSC code, account details, etc and the need to remember credit card numbers and passwords.
Several global companies, including Amazon, Facebook, WhatsApp and Google, are working with NPCI to support UPI on their platforms.