Uber said on Tuesday that it plans to introduce an additional payment option - cash - for its UberEATS service, to make it more convenient for customers worldwide to pay for their food.
Customers of UberEATS can now pay via paper bills in Mumbai, the company said, adding that it will soon expand the option to some of the other countries where UberEATS is available. The move, the company said, would help local businesses extend their reach to more customers. More than 950 restaurants in Mumbai deliver food through UberEATS everyday.
India remains one of the most cash-reliant nations in the world, which was on display last year when lives of hundreds of millions of people was impacted overnight when the national government invalidated two high denomination bills. With a significant portion of the country yet to open a bank account, services that only support digital payment methods leave a large market untapped.
The move comes less than a month after Uber introduced support for Unified Payment Interface, a digital payment protocol backed by the government. The ride-hailing company said it remains committed to India's vision for a digital economy.
"With the introduction of cash payments on UberEATS in Mumbai, we're excited that India is once again the first country in the world where we are today launching this new global feature," Bhavik Rathod, Head, UberEATS India said in a press statement.
UberEATS is presently available in 29 countries.
"An additional payment method not only gives consumers more flexibility, it also helps our restaurant partners expand their reach, while enabling many more food lovers in the city experience the magic of 'food and technology' through the UberEATS app," he added. Uber had introduced support for cash on its marquee service for the first time when it entered India.
It's not rare for Silicon Valley companies to use India as the testbed for their products and then use the learnings elsewhere. Google's YouTube Go app, and offline support in Google Maps, which are now available worldwide, were first introduced in India.