Uber Technologies Ltd. recently announced the launch of a feature that will allow its Indian users to book rides using the messaging service WhatsApp.
The partnership will help Uber to broaden its scope in India by tapping into Meta-owned WhatsApp’s massive 500 million userbase.
The service will be piloted in Lucknow and then will be introduced to users in other cities in the country. Existing, as well as new users with a registered WhatsApp mobile number, will be able to avail of the service.
Uber also stated that riders will no longer be required to install the Uber app, and everything will be managed within the WhatsApp chat interface, starting from user registration, ride booking, to getting the receipt. The service will primarily be available in English, and other Indian languages are likely to be added soon.
WhatsApp users will also be able to book a ride either by scanning a QR code, messaging a business account number owned by Uber, or by clicking on a link to open Uber’s WhatsApp chat.
Sr. Director of Business Development at Uber APAC, Nandini Maheshwari, mentioned that the company wants to make it easier for all Indians to take an Uber ride using platforms that they are already comfortable with.
Head of WhatsApp India, Abhijit Bose, mentioned that WhatsApp‘s Business Platform has been of great importance for enterprises wanting to connect directly with their consumers. Uber’s services on WhatsApp will be simple and has immense potential to accelerate its adoption in India.
It is worth noting that riders will be provided similar safety features as well as insurance protection as users booking rides using the Uber app, the company stated. When a customer selects the "emergency" button, they will immediately receive an inbound call from Uber’s customer care team.
The WhatsApp chat will also provide safety guidelines, and information on location tracking, pickup point, driver’s name & license plate, as well as a facility to talk to the driver with a masked number.
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