Uber is looking to attract new drivers and keep existing ones for its ride-share service, and according to recent reports by Quartz, the company is considering a dramatic way to achieve this: providing its drivers with banking services.
According to Tuesday (Nov. 3) reports by the publication, unnamed sources that work closely with Uber and financial institutions, as well as documents seen by Quartz, suggest that Uber would link its drivers to prepaid cards or bank accounts when they sign up to drive for the company. The move aims to speed up the time it takes for drivers to get paid.
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At present, workers get paid weekly; the venture would allow drivers to get paid the same day they drive, reports said.
Documents say Uber is eyeing other ways to strengthen driver loyalty, deemed “value-added” services by the company, including cash-back discounts and cross-border money transfer tools. Reports said the ability for drivers to send money overseas with the help of Uber would be particularly appealing to immigrant drivers, which make up a significant portion of that force.
Reports added that the proposition remains in its early stages.
The same day the Quartz reports were published, Uber Board Member David Plouffe spoke at an event stating that the company currently has 1.1 million active drivers around the globe, with 400,000 in the U.S. alone.
While keeping drivers loyal is key to Uber as it faces new competitors, regulatory hurdles and consumer dissatisfaction from surge pricing (which occurs when there are not enough drivers to meet demand, forcing Uber to up the price of each trip), there are other reasons Uber will want to keep its drivers happy.
Last month the company compromised some of its drivers’ data, including drivers' licenses and Social Security numbers. The leak, inadvertently caused by Uber itself, led to some Uber drivers gaining access to hundreds of other drivers’ information.
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