In a first of its kind move, Uber has announced it will start accepting cash payments for rides in Hyderabad, showing signs of the importance of the Indian market for the cab hailing technology company that connects riders with nearby cabs. Accepting cash payments is the anti-thesis of Uber’s service anywhere else in the world, which started as a cashless service where users just pressed a button to get a cab and could step out without having to worry about having enough cash or the right change. Uber is trying out cash payments only in Hyderabad for the moment. However, considering Uber’s biggest rival Ola Cabs already offers it everywhere, Uber is likely to expand it to other Indian cities too. Also Read - Uber cab service resumed in 31 cities in India with new Lockdown 4.0 guidelinesAlso Read - Uber launches 'Uber Connect' package delivery service to rival Dunzo and Swiggy Genie
However, this is not the first time Uber is doing something specifically for India. Here are some of the features the company has launched just for India. Also Read - Uber to operate 'Essential' cab service to hospitals and pharmacy stores in 4 cities
Uber partners with Paytm for mobile wallet: Uber had to let go of its seamless credit card payment mechanism after it was found to be against RBI’s rules for not enforcing two-factor authentication — a must according to Indian banking law in situations when the transaction is made with the credit card not being physically present. In order to work around the situation, Uber tied up with Paytm for its mobile wallet solution. Now Uber users in India need to first have a Paytm account and top it up with cash before being able to book a cab. Users are required to have a minimum balance of Rs 200 in order to be able to hail a cab.
UberAuto with cash payment: Not content with cabs, Uber also started an option to be able to hail three-wheeled autorickshaws in Indian cities. Unlike cabs, users had to pay by cash to autorickshaw drivers.
UberGo: This is also something Uber started specifically for India. UberGo has hatchbacks and other smaller cars and is the cheapest cab category in Uber’s lineup. It has proven to be the most popular category of cabs offered by Uber.
Emergency SOS button: In its response to the Delhi rape incident, Uber announced two new safety features within its app. It added an SOS button that alerts local police authorities. Another button can be used to send status of the ride including live GPS location, the cab’s license plate number as well as the driver’s name, phone number and photo, to any contact.
Uber local partnerships: Uber has also been aggressive in partnering with local popular apps to get Uber API integration. Today users in India can search for a restaurant on Zomato and request an Uber cab directly from the app. They can also use Uber from within Zo Rooms app.