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Uber Cash vs Uber CASH

calendar iconOct 9, 2018

Uber Cash vs Uber CASH. Confused? You're not alone.

Uber Cash is a newly announced electronic payment option within the Uber apps, valid for Uber products only.

Uber CASH or Uber cash option refers to a tangible cash payment option for Uber rides available in a growing number of cities. Here, we offer everything you need to know about Uber and cash:

What is Uber?

Uber is a ride-sharing company started in 2009 that revolutionized the taxi industry with a cashless, app-based transport experience in which licensed drivers that signed up to Uber “share” a ride with nearby app-users within minutes of their request by using smartphone GPS tracking.

See guidelines on using Uber here and an Uber timeline below.

Does Uber accept cash?

Not at first. Six years after Uber's launch, the company began experimenting with integrating cash into their payment options in order to reach rural communities that rely on cash. In May 2015, Uber rolled out a cash option into the app’s payment options in Hyperbad, India. Following its success, they extended the choice to four more cities in India. By the end of the year, Uber completed 1 billion rides.

By 2016, Uber offered the cash payment option to over 150 cities and in 2018, this number grew to over 400. Now, riders can choose cash in 51 countries. Having acknowledged the public’s preference for cash, their U-turn for the once cashless Uber back to cash was an undeniably wise choice.

'Choice is a beautiful thing and soon many of you will be able to pay for Uber rides using cash. That’s right – you get all the Uber awesomeness and even more options when it comes to paying for your ride. Simply choose the CASH option, take a ride and pay your driver directly in cash at the end,'
"Now Pay For Your Uber With Cash In 4 More Cities!Uber India TeamUber Blog (Jul 20th, 2015)

How can I get Uber to accept cash in my city?

According to Uber's website, customers’ usage and feedback are what make this experiment a success. If you think Uber should accept cash in your area, simply write to support@uber.com or their Facebook or Twitter accounts.

Is Uber’s cash payment option related to Uber Cash?

No. On September 5th, 2018 Uber began rolling out Uber Cash, confusingly unrelated to their cash-accepting expansion. Uber Cash is a separate payment option offered within the app where users can pool their budget for all Uber products, from bike-sharing to food delivery, into one account.

To top up this account, customers transfer money from their debit, credit or gift cards into their Uber Cash account. To entice riders to choose this option in the US, the ride-sharing company is currently offering a deal where those who credit $95 gets them $100 of store value, $50 for those who top up with $48.50 and $25 for those who fund $24.50. Their account can then be used across all their local services but what it can’t do, is allow their rider to cash out their stored Uber Cash values onto other payment cards outside the Uber ecosystem.

“In the last year alone, 15.1% of the global population had used a credit card and 23.2% used a debit card – which meant that 61.7% had used cash as a payment method at least once...We knew that cash was a big opportunity as people were still using it daily and we decided to launch ‘cash’.”
"Femke van SchoonhovenUber’s product designerAt London's Women of Silicon Roundabout conference

How does Uber's cash option work?

  1. Open the Uber app on your smartphone and go to the Payment section on the top left corner
  2. Select ‘CASH’ as your payment option
  3. Request for a ride
  4. Before you get out, pay the amount shown to you and your driver – No haggling required

Requirements for riders

  1. Smartphone with a downloaded Uber app
  2. Wi-Fi connection or a data plan and connection
  3. A valid Uber account (“Social Connect” may be required)
  4. Enough cash to hand over to the driver at the end of the trip

There is no booking fee or the additional charge to riders when they use cash. Uber advises having double the amount just in case the end cost is more than the expected estimation given at the start of the journey. If a ride results to be longer and the rider doesn’t have enough change or vice-versa – Uber will either cover the outstanding cost for the first scenario or simply add credit to the rider’s account for the second.

How does the Uber Cash option work?

  1. Open the app menu and tap on Payment
  2. Tap “Add funds”
  3. Choose the amount you want to load for up to 5% off
  4. Change your payment method to Uber Cash
  5. Choose a destination
  6. Request your ride
'That idea is presumably at play with Uber Cash: Provide a payment tie across the various Uber properties, further engaging consumers and making it harder for them to step away — especially if they have loyalty and point rewards awaiting them, and if they can make monthly budgets too.'
"PYMNTS article: Uber’s Newest Project?Reinventing Its Payments ExperiencePYMNYS (Sep 5th, 2018)

Timeline of Uber and cash

  • 2009

Mar: Uber is founded as UberCab by Garette Camp (computer programmer and StumbleUpon Co-Founder) and Travis Kalanick.

  • 2010

Feb: First Uber hire (trial for research)
Jul: Uber launched San Francisco, CA, USA

  • 2011

Mar: Uber goes live in New York City, NY, USA
Sep: Uber goes live in Chicago, IL, USA
Dec: Uber goes live in Paris, France

  • 2012

Jun: Competitor Lyft is launched in San Francisco, CA, USA
Jul: Uber goes live in London, UK and announces UberX (hybrid cars)

  • 2013

Apr: Uber launches ridesharing - regular drivers using personal vehicles as part of UberX
Jun: Uber goes live in Mexico City, Mexico
Jul: Uber goes live in Taibei, Taiwan
Aug: Uber goes live in Johannesburg, South Africa and Bangalore, India

  • 2014

Apr: Uber banned in South Korea because of law that outlaws paying unregistered private vehicles for transport services
Jul: Uber launches in Beijing, China, and Lagos, Nigeria
Aug: Uber announces UberPool

  • 2015

Feb: Uber enters Romanian market when it launched its uberXapp in Bucharest.
May: Uber experiments with pilot cash payments in Hyderabad, India
Jun: Uber exits Romania after President Klaus Iohannis makes it illegal to transport people for a fee without valid taxi authorization.
Dec: Lyft (USA), Didi Kuaiki (China), Ola Cabs (India) and GrabTaxi (South-East Asia) announce global technology and service alliance. All of these are backed by Softbank (Japan), a company that will later (in 2017) buy $1.4 billion in Uber stocks.
Dec: Uber completes 1 billion trips

  • 2016

Apr: Uber goes live in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
May: Uber exits Austin TX, USA in response to city ordinance by voters demanding further driver regulations.
Jul: Chinese government issues guidlines to make ride-hailing services legal.
Aug: Didi Chuxing (formerly Didi Kuaidi) buys Uber China, keeping the Uber brand but integrating the managerial technological know-how of both teams after Uber reportedly lost $2 billion attempting to make inroads in China.

  • 2017

May: Uber completes 5 billion trips.
Jun: Travis Kalanick resigns as CEO at Uber after months of scandals over Uber's unethical culture, allegations and neglected sexual harassment reports as well as a rape case in Delhi, India where a repeat rape offender was able to work as an Uber driver without a license or car GPS and commit a sexual attack on a woman.
Aug: Dara Khosrowshahi, a former Expedia CEO, succeeding founder Kalanick as Uber CEO. Khosrowshahi transforms Uber culture issues, promoting diversity in gender, sexuality, race, and culture.

  • 2018

Jan: Kalanick becomes a billionaire after selling $1.4 billion worth of stocks to Japan's Softbank. His remaining stake in Uber currently stands at another $3 billion.
Jun: Uber's granted short-term license to operate in London with a 15-month probation period.
Jul: Femke van Schoonhoven announces Uber plans to expand cash acceptance
Jul: Uber completes 10 billion trips and teams up with Lime to add electric scooters to its app
Aug: Uber announces a long-term plan to shift emphasis from cars to electric bikes and scooters.
Sep: Uber launches "Uber Cash"

Last Updated: May 1, 2020

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