Ride-hailing giant, Uber has partnered with Nigeria’s Flutterwave to launch Uber Cash, its digital wallet feature in Sub-Saharan Africa.
The new feature will allow Uber riders to top-up their Uber wallet using Flutterwave’s network of remittance partners in the region.
The launch of Uber Cash comes as ride-hailing services in the region begin to recover from the loss of in rider volume and revenue caused by the pandemic.
Uber shut down operations in countries like Uganda and Nigeria where government lockdown were implement
The new digital wallet feature will be live in Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa, Uganda and Ghana within the next two weeks. These markets remain Uber’s biggest markets in sub-Saharan Africa.
New Payment Method for Rides
With the launch of the new feature, Uber customers now have a new and more flexible way to top-up their wallets when paying for rides. However, available top-up methods vary from country to country.
According to Uber’s General Manager for Sub-Saharan Africa, Alon Lits, riders in Nigeria can use their Verve Card or mobile money. Customers in Kenya can use either M-pesa of EFT.
“Depending on the country, you’ve got a different top-up method available. For example, in Nigeria, you can use your Verve Card or mobile money. In Kenya, you can use M-Pesa and EFT and in South Africa, you can top up with EFT,”
Alon Lits, Uber’s General Manager for Sub-Saharan Africa
Across the continent, riders can also use Flutterwave’s Barter payment app which was launched in partnership with Visa last year.
Reducing the use of cash
In Africa, Uber accepts cash payment for rides. This is quite different from what obtains in the company’s other major markets like the US. This is because the region contains one of the world’s largest unbanked populations and as such still uses cash as a major means of transaction.
However, over the last few years, giant strides have been made to drive financial inclusion through mobile money and sensitisation. With this growth, Uber is hoping the introduction of Uber Cash will help reduce the use of cash for payment.
Also, the new feature could help Uber increase revenue by boosting the volume of funds and transactions done on the digital wallet thereby reducing friction in the ride payment process.