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Uber is testing a cash payment option in Nairobi

Uber has launched a cash payment system in Nairobi, Kenya. Uber has been operating with a credit card-based system, a strategy that made sense in the US and other mature markets. But the moment the private driver hailing app started operating in emerging markets, it needed to adopt a different strategy.

It is for this reason that the company has adjusted it payment options. Uber’s cash payment began in India and now has branched into Kenya.

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Launching in Nairobi is a move into the unbankable African market. Last week, Uber announced its plans about its cash payment option, stating that this brings “more awesomeness to the users”.

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For technology to penetrate third world countries, it has to balance the old with the new way of living. A jump from a technology illiterate market into a technology savvy market requires an amalgamation of the two times.

Users will still have to use the Uber app to hail their ride but now they can choose to pay by cash or credit card.

“Nairobi and Hyderabad (India) were the first two cities selected for this experiment because they have a low credit and debit card penetration” Uber says.

Nairobi is the ideal environment to test Uber’s cash payment option. The company urges riders who pay by cash to email feedback so that it can use to the feedback to fine tune the service before it launches in more markets around the world.

The cash payment option is not available throughout the city of Nairobi but the company says that it will be eventually but for now the company is testing different groups and user preferences.

Besides guidelines on how to use the cash payment option, which are not any different to the usual credit card payment, except now instead of one payment option, users get two, Uber does not provide any information about the cash payment structure itself.

It is not clear if users will be required to have the exact amount as the fare estimate in the app or if they will need more as the payment is usually dependent on traffic and other factors.

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