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Uber Money: Ride-Hailing App Launching Banking Services — Seriously

Uber Money: Ride-Hailing App Launching Banking Services — Seriously

Ride-hailing app Uber is reportedly launching a new venture: financial services — because who doesn’t want their money controlled by a company that lost more than $5 billion in the second quarter of 2019?

That’s right, the same company that has been hemorrhaging money hand over fist and had a disastrous initial public offering this year announced Monday a new division called Uber Money, which will include a digital wallet and special debit and credit cards. It will essentially work as a no-fee bank account, with the debit card linked to an account provided by Green Dot, according to a CNBC report.

The first emphasis will be to allow its 4 million-plus drivers around the world to get paid after each trip, and it will include $100 overdraft protection so drivers can start a day getting gas and not ending up in the red before they even get on the road.

“We wanted to help everybody understand that there’s a new part of Uber that’s focused on financial services and that has a mission of giving people access to the type of financial services they were excluded from,” Uber Money chief Peter Hazelhurst told CNBC.

The company is rolling out a debit card with an enhanced “instant pay” service it has already been testing in the U.S. and other markets, and about 70% of driver payments are made using the instant pay feature.

After thoroughly testing the feature on its drivers, Uber is likely to start offering accounts to its riders.

“I think so,” Hazlehurst said. “The reality is that the needs of our partners in the U.S. and in Brazil and in Australia and in India mirror in many ways the needs of consumers as well, particularly in the cash-heavy economies. And the opportunity that we have is to expand to help all of those people have access to financial services.”

Uber’s riders will eventually have access to credit cards that offer rewards for hailing rides and food delivery services via Uber Eats.

Uber went public in May and its stock has been battered. It is now trading about 25% below its IPO price of $45. Following its disastrous second-quarter earnings, third-quarter numbers are coming on Nov. 4.

Uber Money