Uber, no stranger to cryptocurrency thanks to its Libra Association membership, has announced a deeper dive into digital cash with a new financial service called Uber Money. Though their direction is clear, all through the announcement, there is no mention of the word cryptocurrency.
Uber is looking to new payment methods not so much for their clients, but rather to help their 4 million-plus drivers, many of whom do not have easy access to bank accounts and quick cash, as BeInCrypto has previously reported. They will achieve this through a digital wallet.
The problems Uber is looking to solve – cross-border payments, instant transactions, digital bank accounts, and general ease of transacting – will be done through their digital financial system. Yet, these are all problems that can be solved by cryptocurrency, meaning that Uber could be branching out into digital assets. Plus, who knows what’s going to happen with Libra?
A Financial Services Branch
It appears that Uber Money will be rolled out initially to aid the platform’s drivers, but it is being billed as a new venture for the app – one into the financial services sector. Uber Money will begin with a digital wallet, and updated debit and credit cards, but there is talk that it could expand to offering banking services to consumers on its platform.
“We wanted to help everybody understand that there’s a new part of Uber that’s focused on financial services, and that has a mission of giving people access to the type of financial services they were excluded from,” Uber Money head Peter Hazlehurst told CNBC.
Uber has been under financial difficulty recently, as BeInCrypto has also previously reported. Competition has emerged, and several scandals have dogged the taxi-app. With this new financial ecosystem, they appear to be following the trend of a number of other companies – pivoting to a new revolution in payment.
Of course, several of these pivoting companies, such as the previously mentioned Facebook and its Libra platform, are looking to tap into cryptocurrencies as they enter into this burgeoning sector. Yet, for Uber, there is no mention of going to blockchain payments just yet.
A Libra Leg-Up
Fintech is a growing space, with cryptocurrency being just one aspect of it. For Uber, these initial signs point to more classical fintech advancements. Their digital wallet, Uber Wallet, will allow riders and drivers can use to store dollars, track their transaction history, and make electronic payments. The plan is also to integrate Apple Pay and Google Pay next year so drivers can immediately spend the money that comes in straight away, Hazlehurst said.
Uber Money could integrate with Libra as well, should Facebook’s coin get off the ground. Being part of the Association means easy use of the token through Uber, which would seamlessly be integrated into this new platform, ushering Libra to new heights and Uber into cryptocurrency.
Images are courtesy of Shutterstock.
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