Uber launches cash pilot test in Nairobi

Money Transfer

On-line taxi service provider Uber on Thursday launched a cash test pilot in Kenyan capital Nairobi in a bid to offer consumers more payment options.

The move makes Nairobi the first city in Africa to experience Uber's seamless cash payment option where passengers will have access to all the current Uber features.

All they need is to simply choose the cash payment option and pay their driver directly in cash at the end of the trip.

Uber, which launched its services in Nairobi in January, uses an innovative smartphone app that seamlessly connects passengers to drivers to submit a trip request, which is then routed to sharing proceeds with the taxi driver.

Jambu Palaniappan, Uber's Regional General Manager for Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa, said the cash experiment in Nairobi will give some great insights and help the company develop technology to best meet the needs of the local consumers.

"Paying with cash is really important for people in Kenya, so this is an exciting experience for us. We want everyone to enjoy the hassle-free convenience of ordering a safe ride at the push of the button," Palaniappan said.

Esther Kirigwi has been a cab driver for the last four years in Nairobi and it was an agonizing experience until she joined Uber, a US-based firm, five months ago.

"Before that, my family borne the brunt of my search for money because I could not afford to spare time for them, which in the process brought untold suffering to my children since they missed maternal attention," Kirigwi told Xinhua during the launch of Uber's pilot cash test Thursday in Nairobi.

"I am now my own boss, and work at my own convenience during the hours that I want,"she said.

The driver said she now no longer has to park her vehicle at the taxi bay and wait for customers to trickle in, but simply waits for a call from Uber to pick a client at a specified location.

To request a ride, users must download the free application for different phones or register at Uber website. The company divides the proceeds with taxi drivers on 20:80 percentages respectively.

Uber's network is now available in 300 cities in 60 countries spanning six continents, as it aspires to transform the way people connect with their communities and bring safety, reliability, convenience and opportunity to transport systems.
Source: The Global Times 8 June 2015