Ride-hailing app Uber has announced a new partnership with Safaricom that will now allow riders across Kenya to pay for trips via M-PESA. The company will also disburse payments to drivers on the platform via the mobile money service.
The collaboration is especially set to benefit drivers who lack bank accounts, with Uber’s data showing that about 20% of drivers on the platform do not have bank accounts and therefore lack the opportunity to fully leverage digital trips.
“Through the integration of M-PESA for trip payments, we are excited to bring the ease and convenience of mobile money to riders on our platform,” said Imran Manji, Head of East Africa, Uber. “We are pleased to have found a partner in Safaricom in order to take this significant step towards enhancing financial inclusion in the country.”
The M-Pesa payment option now comes embedded in the Uber app. To access it, open your Uber app, go to account, select wallet then add payment method- M-PESA will appear here. From there you can top up your Uber cash balance with M-PESA and make the payments through this option.
The rollout follows a collaboration with UberEats that allowed consumers to pay for deliveries through M-PESA and delivery people to also receive their earnings through M-PESA.
“We entered into this partnership with Safaricom in order to enhance the experience for delivery people and eaters on our platform through ease of access to earnings and providing a convenient mode of payment for deliveries, respectively.” Kui Mbugua, General Manager UberEats, Kenya said.
According to Safaricom’s results for the last financial year, the company processed 6.4 billion payments through M-PESA. Data from the Central Bank of Kenya shows the number of total card payments in the country were at 70 million for the same period making M-PESA the most preferred mode of cashless payments.
“This partnership with Uber will enable us to provide thousands of drivers and delivery people alongside millions of customers with a fully digital solution with faster, secure, affordable, and convenient payments through M-PESA. We maintain a strong commitment to working with partners such as Uber as they enable us to deliver more value and opportunities to our customers in line with our purpose to transform lives,” said Peter Ndegwa, CEO of Safaricom.