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Bengaluru: Ride-hailing service Uber Technologies Inc. has temporarily suspended offering autorickshaw rides on it platform, called uberAUTO, in Delhi, amid plans to revamp and expand the service to more Indian cities.

“We are temporarily removing this product to solve specific problems that need to be resolved to help it scale," a spokeswoman for Uber said in a statement on Wednesday.

Uber didn’t give any details of the specific problems it faces or how it plans to expand the service.

“At Uber, we continuously experiment with products to ensure that we can provide the most efficient, affordable and convenient ride to everyone everywhere," the statement said.

The US company had in April started offering uberAUTO services in Delhi, amid stiff competition from its local rival Ola that allows passengers to book taxis and auto rickshaw rides on its platform.

Ola, owned by ANI Technologies, started offering autorickshaw rides on its platform across six cities last year. It claims to have more than 70,000 autos on its platform and plans to launch the service in three more cities by December end.

Ola allows users to pay in cash or through its online wallet Ola Money and charges an addition fee of 10 on every ride.

Until recently, passengers using Uber app in Delhi could book rides on uberAUTO and pay the metered tariff as set by state, in cash. Uber declined to comment on the number of autos it had on its platform. It claims to have more than 250,000 drivers on its platform, including taxis and autos.

Uber launched uberAUTO in India at a time when the company did not have the option of billing its customers in cash. The company started letting all of its customers pay in cash in May after it ran into trouble with the regulators over its payment mechanism that allowed customers to use their credit cards to directly pay for their rides, overlooking a two-step payment authentication process.

Uber had to stop allowing credit card payments and tied up with local online wallets such as Paytm, owned by One97 Communications. Earlier this year, it reintroduced credit card payments with two-step payment authentication process and launched cash-payment options for taxi rides as well.

Uber and Ola are locked in a cut-throat battle for marketshare of the fast-growing taxi services market in India which analysts expect to grow to $20 billion in the next five years.

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