- Ride-sharing service Uber rolled out a suite of new or revamped products Monday at the Money20/20 conference in Las Vegas under the moniker Uber Money.
- The company is relaunching the Uber credit card in partnership with Barclays. Cardholders will now receive 5% back in Uber Cash from spending across the company’s platform, including rides, Uber Eats, JUMP bikes and scooters, and even the Uber Copter that flies from lower Manhattan to John F. Kennedy Airport, said Peter Hazlehurst, Uber’s head of payments, who has been tapped to lead Uber Money.
- Uber is also rolling out a real-time earnings platform that lets drivers access their funds after each trip rather than being limited to five cash-outs a day through Instant Pay. The real-time offering runs through an Uber debit account powered by Green Dot that maintains a popular feature: letting drivers overdraw by $100 without a penalty.
Uber’s launch of a payments arm arguably further blurs the lines between "fin" and "tech."
“With these moves, Uber is essentially on its way to becoming a digital bank by delivering a range of services without the need for a banking license,” Richard Crone, a principal with Crone Consulting LLC, told American Banker.
The timing of the revamp may take advantage of an Apple-sized swell in financial services. The computing giant launched its eponymous card in August, and in an earnings call this month, the CEO of Goldman Sachs, the partner bank on the initiative, called the Apple Card rollout “the most successful credit card launch ever.”
Uber and Barclays debuted their credit card in late 2017; Apple powered down a rewards program with the ride-sharer's partner Barclays just before the Goldman-tied rollout.
Given the number of products the car service launched or relaunched Monday, it seems only fitting there would be a platform to keep track of finances. And there's one of those, too: Uber Wallet, unveiled Monday, allows users to see their earning and spending history, and manage and move their money. It is set to launch in the driver app in the coming weeks, Hazlehurst said, with a rollout in the rider and Uber Eats apps to follow early next year.
"We're connecting dots, collapsing barriers and getting your earnings to you," he said Monday in Las Vegas.
Uber's swerve into financial services may help solve two challenges drivers face internationally: a reliance on paper money and nowhere to put it. Nearly 40% of Uber trips globally are paid for in cash, Hazlehurst said. And in Mexico in particular, 35% of drivers sign up without having a bank account, he said. Uber launched a debit card in Mexico with BBVA three months before refreshing its U.S. debit effort, Hazlehurst said.
The revamped debit card offers cash back on gas starting at 3%, increasing to 6% for highest-tier drivers.
Embracing a real-time earnings access model was a logical step for a market that was already leaning that way, Hazlehurst said. A year and a half after its rollout, Instant Pay accounts for 70% of driver payouts. "Clearly, the drivers want to get paid as quickly as they can," Hazlehurst told PYMNTS.com.