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Google Wallet Grabs A “Lyft”

After Apple Pay and Paypal, Lyft has now announced Google Wallet’s integration to its ride-sharing app.

With the integration, Lyft riders can now pay via direct bank account or any debit or credit card associated with their Google Wallet and add a tip to it just as they already do, according to a Lyft blog post.

The expansion of the payments choices for its riders come at a time when Lyft is fast expanding its presence across the U.S. with a national growth of 500 percent observed in 2014. At South by Southwest (SXSW), Lyft’s CEO Logan Green announced that the company’s home city of San Francisco has emerged as the company’s strongest market.

Last week, the company scored a $300 million investment from Japanese eCommerce giant Rakuten, which pushed Lyft’s total evaluation to $2.5 billion. The funding, Lyft’s CEO John Zimmer said, would primarily be used to bolster the Lyft’s presence across the U.S. as it wrestles its rival Uber in the 65 cities where it currently operates.

With an improved payments platform, Lyft is reportedly planning to launch its services outside of the U.S. like its biggest competitor Uber, which was recently evaluated to be worth over $41 billion.

“We’re learning a lot from large international competitors. As we go international, we’re looking to add something unique to the market,” Green said. “And so when we do go international, it won’t just be as a taxi service. It will be bringing the pieces that are most unique about Lyft.”

In a press release, Rakuten indicated its plans to direct the fresh round of investment in not just supporting the company’s growth in the U.S., but also overseas.

Lyft, just like its competitors Uber and Sidecar, has been facing pushback from local authorities across the country over taxicab laws.

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With an estimated 64 million connected cars on the road by year’s end, QSRs are scrambling to win consumer drive-time dollars via in-dash ordering capabilities, while automakers like Tesla are developing new retail-centric charging stations. The PYMNTS Commerce Connected Playbook explores how the connected car is putting $230 billion worth of connected car spend into overdrive.

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