In a subtle move that’s likely to be well received by its most loyal users, Uber has begun accepting payment by credit card in India again. Legislation forced it to switch to an in-app wallet payment system, which will still be supported, last November.
The company has teamed up payment processor MobiKwik to resume card payments in accordance with regulations from the Reserve Bank of India which require two-factor authentication for when a cardholder is not presented physically. In addition, the integration with MobiKwik expands Uber’s support to allow payments via debit card, that’s something that isn’t usually covered by the U.S. firm.
Uber’s mobile wallet — supplied by Alibaba-backed payment firm Paytm — allows customers to load balance into their dedicated account via debit/credit card, cash or internet banking, but it meant keeping an ongoing float to use the service. While it did remove the barrier of needing to own a credit card, which can prevent some from using Uber’s service, the setup was criticized by some for being cumbersome and slower than Uber’s usual cashless payment system. Reinstating card payments, which is initially just for Android device owners but will come to iOS “in the coming weeks”, brings back the simpler payment flow that Uber is well known for worldwide.
It isn’t just about plastic and Uber has shown that it is sensitive to local nuances around payment in India. It supports cash payments for its auto rickshaw service, and is trialling cash payments for all of its services in one Indian city, Hyderabad.