New Delhi: Cab hailing firm Uber Technologies Inc. launched the final phase of UPI (Unified Payments Interface)-based payment facility for all its users on Wednesday.
UPI is a payment system launched by National Payments Corp. of India (NPCI) which facilitates instant fund transfer between two bank accounts on the mobile platform. The payment option will be available to both Android and iOS phone users.
Uber has partnered with Axis Bank to launch UPI integration for riders and HDFC bank to facilitate access to Bharat Interface for Money (BHIM) for driver partners.
The ride-hailing app is the latest of a plethora of Internet start-ups, including Ola, Paytm and Hike to join the UPI bandwagon. Amazon and WhatsApp are also planning to integrate UPI, according to reports.
The integration 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.
“India’s digital economy will become a $1trillion economy in the next five years. India’s digital payments economy alone will be bigger than $500 billion. Integration of Uber app with UPI-BHIM will boost the digital economy of India," said Ravi Shankar Prasad, minister for IT and law at the launch event.
Uber’s senior vice president-global business, David Richter, said: “outside of the United States, we have three significant markets—India, Brazil and Mexico."
He said Uber is committed to technology and cashless innovations in India, a country where the firm has over a 1,000 employees, managing 450,000 driver partners that complete 9.4 million rides on an average every week.
When Uber was launched in India in 2013, it only allowed digital payments through pre-paid instruments over its app. A year later, as part of the localization effort, it started cash payments, and has now added UPI as another payment method.
BHIM app, the government’s native UPI app, has crossed 16 million downloads, National Payments Corporation of India said in July.