In Uber news released Thursday (Sept. 28), the ridesharing company will no longer provide a free version of its Uber for Business app for business customers. This will result in corporations paying more for the company’s ride hailing services.
According to a report in Fortune, Uber for Business, which went live in 2014, enabled employees to bill rides to their company’s corporate accounts without incurring any additional fees. But now, Uber is adding a 10 percent fee to businesses that use the corporate travel feature, reported Fortune. A person close to the carsharing company told Fortune some companies have already been paying the added charge to access the premium version of Uber’s mobile app.
The Fortune report noted that Uber began adding features to its business travel program last month, including elements like the ability for companies to set the amount employees can spend on rides and the hours during which rides can be expensed. Another business-focused service Uber has is Uber Central, a service which allows businesses to order up cars for clients and schedule and pay for future rides.
Uber opted to start charging all corporate customers the 10 percent Uber for Business fee because many had already upgraded to the paid premium service, noted Fortune. The source said Uber is notifying customers on an individual basis about the new fee. Meanwhile, the report pointed out that Lyft, Uber’s main rival, offers a similar corporate travel ridesharing service but does not charge companies a fee for it.
Competition shouldn’t worry Uber, though, given that Uber is leading in the ridesharing business market with 55 percent of business travelers using its services for ground transportation in the second quarter of this year. That number is up from 41 percent two years ago when the business service was still free to all. Lyft controls approximately 8 percent of the corporate market, although the number of customers have jumped 78 percent per quarter on average, noted the report.