Ride-sharing giant Uber has added a stored-value account feature to its mobile app-based platform.
According to payments technology news website PYMNTS, the new service, Uber Cash, allows customers to add funds to a stored-value account that they can use to pay for services across the Uber ecosystem, such as ride-sharing, food delivery via Uber Eats, and bike-sharing via JUMP Bikes, which Uber acquired in April.
Uber Cash offers users a 5 percent discount and multiple spending incentives. For example, a consumer who spends US$95 actually gets US$100 on their account.
The feature also enables users to store Uber gift cards, loyalty rewards and redemptions.
In an interview with PYMNTS, Rob Daniel, Uber’s financial products lead at Uber, resisted calling the new service a “mobile wallet” as the stored value accumulated by customers can only be used within the Uber ecosystem.
However, he did not rule out the possibility of Uber Cash expanding its offerings beyond the closed-loop payment network.
PYMNTS compares Uber Cash with the Starbucks Rewards loyalty program, which customers can load with funds and use to accumulate reward points, thereby driving customer engagement and repeat spending.
“Uber Cash is more than an imitation of Amazon’s cash back rewards,” PaymentsSource reported, referring to the Amazon Prime Reload rewards program launched last year.
The program offers a 2 percent cash back for shoppers using a debit card or bank account to load an Amazon stored-value account.
“If successful, Uber could recreate the Amazon Prime effect of getting consumers into its system for one perk (i.e., two-day shipping or an exclusive TV series) and then piling on incentives and services to keep them engaged,” the report said.
Grab, which acquired Uber’s Southeast Asia business in late March, launched its own mobile payment app called GrabPay last year, as part of its efforts to become Asia’s leading O2O (online-to-offline) mobile platform.
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