Uber looks to have its own payment wallet in India
"We recently announced our partnership with Paytm and I think part of Uber's success and strategy is to work with local companies. From my perspective, I... like to have local partnerships to make the service available to our customers," Eric Alexander, Head of Business, Uber Asia, said when asked about the proposal of having its own payment wallet. "We are happy to continue with that. I am not going to say that (dropping the idea of having own wallet). We always got our options open."
About surge pricing, Alexander's take is it is determined by supply-demand position at a given point of time and the pricing is done by computer-generated algorithm. A senior official of Uber had recently told PTI that it was evaluating options to have its own payment wallet as it finds that the two-factor authentication (2FA) imposed by the Reserve Bank of India becomes cumbersome for its riders while making payments through credit or debit cards.
On the procedural part, he said the pricing is done automatically by the system depending on supply and demand at one point and the company does not have any "ill intention to make extra money using surge pricing". "It is not something that we at Uber control. It is not someone sitting at a computer that they decide to turn on the surge. It is purely a market-based algorithm. Surge is not something that we want use to make extra money," he said.
"It is a technology solution to allow riders that they are willing to pay the price at that point of time to get a car." On the company's expansion plans, he said right now Uber services are available in 27 cities and the figure may go up to 50 in the current year. On the issue of compliance of local or various state laws, he said the taxi aggregator is working with various state governments. Meanwhile, the Tata Group today announced a tie-up with ride-sharing company Uber Technologies to offer the drivers and owners on Uber platform comprehensive vehicle purchase and financing solutions, among other benefits.