Uber drivers now have option to turn down cash payments

Cab-hailing service Uber has added a new tool to its app that allows drivers to decline cash-based trips

In an effort to access more customers, Uber created a cash payment option on the app who people that did not have credit cards last year.

Almost a year later, after receiving mixed feedback from drivers, the company has now launched a new pilot function called the cash indicator, which allows drivers to turn down cash trips.

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“While some driver-partners have asked for the cash option to be removed, others feel it has opened them up to new riders and provides the consumer with more choices. Cash is the dominant payment method in Africa and many riders do not have cards to use on the app; cash removes the barrier for those without a card who want to use Uber,” Jonathan Ayache, Uber South Africa’s GM, said in a statement.

“That’s why it’s not feasible to remove the cash option completely – we believe riders should have the freedom to pay for rides how they wish, but we also believe that driver-partners should have the freedom to decline cash trips.”

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Before the pilot function was launched, drivers didn’t know the method of payment that a rider was using until they arrived at the client. Some drivers felt that the cash option left them prone to robbery and hijacking because criminals knew that they were driving around with cash.

“Unfortunately, Uber’s technology cannot prevent crime. But with the introduction of core safety features such as GPS tracking, 24/7 support, an emergency number for drivers, as well as our partnership with multiple security companies, and now, the cash indicator,” Ayache said.

“We are doing everything we can to prioritise the safety of those using the Uber app. We will regularly monitor the success of the pilot.”