Uber has started to roll out a payment authorisation hold feature that will enable the company to hold a user's upfront fare amount ahead of a trip. The cab-hailing company will essentially authorise your non-cash payment (credit and debit cards) method for every trip requested, to the amount of the upfront fare. The move, according to Uber, will help in confirming that users' accounts are active and available to fund their trips.
Update, April 10: An Uber spokesperson has reached out to Gadgets 360 to clarify that this will not happen in India, and the update was posted to the Uber India blog in error.
The hold-authorisation feature works in four steps. When you request a trip with Uber, an authorisation hold is placed on your card, amounting to the upfront fare. Once you complete the trip, the pending payment is converted to a final charge, and your account is debited.
Notably, the payment authorisation hold feature allows the company to authorise hold a user's upfront fare amount only before the trip begins. This temporary authorisation hold will show up as a pending charge on the user's account. Further, depending on the bank, user's will get a message for the same. It is just a pending charge which is converted to a full charge only after the trip is completed. You can also check your bank account statements to verify that the final charge is correct, Uber noted.
Uber further noted that if the account balance of your credit or debit card linked to your account is lower than the fare estimate, the authorisation hold will fail. If it happens, you will have to select a different payment method or add a new payment method to your Uber account in order to request a ride. Also, if you cancel a ride, Uber will void the authorisation immediately.