App-based taxi service Uber has begin testing a new program that will allow its driver’s to be paid instantly.
Uber drivers will be able to take their earnings at the end of every journey instead of weekly in San Francisco in the US, thanks to a partnership with pre-paid debit card Green Dot subsidiary GoBank, The Seattle Times reports.
Drivers who use the service will benefit from having zero fees associated with withdrawing their money and no monthly fee, providing they use their account every six months as there’s a monthly fee of US$8.95 beyond this.
Uber is hoping the pilot program, which is being put through its paces in San Francisco and other US cities, will combat companies that charge fees for faster payment. One example is Clearbanc, which charges US$2 for any money deposit per day.
It is also hoped it will help drivers, of which many are on a low-to-middle income, enjoy less financial stress as a result of being paid on a weekly basis.
Uber general manager for San Francisco, Wayne Ting, said: “Our drivers should not have to pay for this technology.”
Green Dot CEO Steve Streit added: “The on-demand economy is super important for the future of this country, and is the fastest growing part of our economy. It’s what the world is coming to and we wanted to be part of this.”
If the pilot proves successful, Uber will expand the service to other cities in the US. Whether or not it could reach the UK remains unclear. GoBank said it would be looking at companies like Uber.
Rival taxi service Lyft beat Uber to the punch with instant pay, but drivers have to deposit at least US$50 and there’s a fee for each deposit.
Uber has been upsetting traditional taxi firms worldwide with its cheaper fares and as a result was banned in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil in September, 2015.
The free-to-download Uber app is available on Android, iOS and Windows Phone.