Uber Looks To Expand To Pakistan

In the latest movement of ride-hailing company Uber to branch out internationally, the company has signaled that it will push into Pakistan, Reuters reported Wednesday (Oct. 28).

That rollout will take place by the end of the year, according to a spokeswoman for the company, which would continue an initiative focused on large cities within the Asia Pacific region.

[bctt tweet=”Uber has set sights on Pakistan”]

Reuters noted that Uber, which has been busy raising capital to expand, advertised for three top manager positions in Lahore, an eastern city that is the nation’s second-largest, this past week. One key technological push will be the recent introduction of 3G and 4G telecommunication services within the nation. As the newswire noted, 14 percent of the country’s 190 million citizens has Internet access, and roughly three-quarters have access to mobile phones.

In an interview with Reuters, Shaden Abdellatif, Uber’s head of communications for the Middle East and Africa, said that Uber looks “to launch by the end of the year or at the latest by early next year … We will put together a team in Lahore within the next couple of months.”

Reuters noted that Uber in Pakistan would come after failures from other taxi-hailing outfits, including Rocket Internet.

In reference to payments, Uber would look to develop different swaths of payments, where electronic payments are prevalent in other nations. But, as Reuters reported, the “safety of both passengers and drivers will be a major challenge in a country with high crime rates and an intractable Taliban insurgency.” To help alleviate those issues, the company has said it will mandate a rigorous screening process for drivers. The Uber app will send passengers info about their drivers, such as name and photo, and also the ability to share route information with peers, family or friends, the company told Reuters.

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The pressure on banks to modernize their payments capabilities to support initiatives such as ISO 20022 and instant/real time payments has been exacerbated by the emergence of COVID-19 and the compelling need to quickly scale operations due to the rapid growth of contactless payments, and subsequent increase in digitization. Given this new normal, the need for agility and optimization across the payments processing value chain is imperative.