Uber said today that it’s now taking cash payments for the first time for rides in Indonesia. This is currently limited to Bandung, a city of over two million people just outside the capital, Jakarta.
This is only the third nation in which Uber has permitted cash payments in Southeast Asia – and only the sixth globally. Hyderabad in India was the first. Uber now takes cash in all 22 cities in India where it operates.
In most countries, riders pay cashlessly through the Uber app after connecting it to a credit card or a mobile payment service. However, this can be off-putting to consumers in countries where few people have credit cards or where mobile payment apps are at a very early stage.
“We know that cash is still the dominant payment option for millions of Indonesians, especially in smaller cities,” said Uber’s Mike Brown in a statement. “This experiment is really exciting for us given the success we’ve seen in other markets and the potential of the Indonesian market.” Mike is Uber’s regional general manager for Southeast Asia and Oceania.
Uber is now catching up to rival app-based transportation services in Indonesia, such as Grabtaxi and Grabcar, which already take cash payments in the country. Homegrown startup Go-Jek, which is like Uber for motorbikes, also takes cash.
Bandung Mayor Ridwan Kamil declared Uber illegal in September, but little action has been taken by authorities. That has left Uber to continue operating in Bandung in the legal grey area that it occupies in most countries around the world.
Uber rolled out cash payments in Manila, the capital of the Philippines, earlier this week.
Do you want to see Uber and rival apps taking cash in your city? Or is going cashless part of the appeal? Hit the comments!
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