Jumping on the bandwagon of new-age digital payments in India, Ola has updated its Android app to accept payments via the Unified Payments Interface (UPI). With the UPI service, Ola users will be able to pay for the rides directly from their bank account, in addition to already available Ola Money, and credit/ debit card payment options. The UPI payment method is available in the latest Android version (v4.2.9) of the Ola app on Google Play, but as the company notes, it is currently only accessible by a select few users.
The Unified Payments Interface (UPI) enables cashless payments across different merchants directly from the bank account without an involvement of third party entity like payment gateways, e-wallets etc. It also lets you get rid of a requirement to input IFSC code, bank name/ branch to transfer payments online. With UPI, a user gets a Virtual Payment Address (VPA) that starts with the preferred username followed by an '@' symbol and bank's name. A four-digit PIN is also required every time for security purposes.
As we mentioned, Ola is rolling out the UPI payment method starting with a handful of users. The release notes on Google Play mention - "More ways to go cashless: Now add UPI ID as a payment method & pay for your Ola rides directly from your bank account. Available for a select few users."
At the time of writing this article, we could not find the option in our Ola app for Android. It appears the Indian ride-hailing company is testing the feature with a limited number of users to assess feasibility before rolling it out to a wider audience. Ola's listing on Google Play highlights the arrival of UPI payment method. You can check if the feature is available to you inside the latest version of the Ola app for Android.
Nevertheless, users still have cashless payments options to go for in the app like Ola Money and online card payments. It is worth mentioning that Ola Money can be used for payments other than the cab service, like mobile recharges, online shopping etc.
Other new features introduced in Ola v4.2.9 for Android include the ability to apply coupons on Ola Share rides. It also brings the Ola Share Pass referrals feature - something available only to a select few users.