In the latest development that signals a continued push into India, Uber has linked up with Bharti Airtel in a deal that will let customers in India pay for rides through the latter’s mobile wallet platform.
As reported in a release on Thursday (Aug. 20), through the partnership, India-based consumers who now use Airtel Money can sync their accounts in the Uber app, and the wallet can be used to pay for rides. Also in place is a promotion wherein new Uber riders can get a discount on the first ride they take opting to use the Airtel Money payment system.
Also introduced as part of the deal between the two companies: Uber is offering commuters high-speed Internet service in its cars. The service will be powered by Airtel 4G, spanning all the cities that have Airtel availability.
In the release noting the new relationship, Amit Jain, president of Uber India, said that "Airtel is leading the way for wireless connectivity and, as our telecom partner, will help us in our quest toward transforming urban mobility for hundreds of millions of commuters in India."
As has been noted in recent reporting, India is on pace to overtake the United States as Uber’s top market, with an attendant $1 billion investment from the company in the region. The company has said that month-on-month growth in India has been on the order of 40 percent, with a market that has just begun to be penetrated.
At present Uber operates in more than 100 cities and towns across India. In terms of business models, Uber recently began accepting cash as a form of payment in five major cities in the country and also began offering Uber rickshaw rides in New Delhi.