How many times have you walked from town to your house because you didn’t get a matatu and yet you have cash in your pocket? Well, that happens to me almost every weekend since matatus going to my place close work at ten. Uber wants to change that, the famous taxi company has allowed the use of cash and mobile money for its Kenyan customers. Fortunately, Nairobi is the first city in Africa and the second in the world to enjoy the new services.
Many people in Nairobi use Uber since it’s one of the fastest growing cities in Africa. Companies like Uber have the opportunity to take advantage of the growing economy. Uber did a pilot test in Nairobi that took two months before they finally introduced the cash payment option.
“The test indicated there was massive pent-up demand for the Uber service as new rider sign-ups and referrals increased five-fold. The number of partner drivers has also doubled over the last two months to cope with the growth in demand.” The regional general manager for Sub-Saharan Africa Alon Lits said.
Signed up customers can access Uber’s current features but allowed to choose the cash payment option at the end of the trip.
“Nairobi is on the front line of great innovations in the continent and the cash payment system system is quite timely,” Alon Lits added.
Uber is available in over 300 cities in the world in 60 countries with one million riders booked per day. Apparently, the platform provides cheapest taxi services and customers don’t have to stress themselves by walking long distances to get means of transport since you only need a smartphone.
“Pricing is determined by kilometer coverage meaning every trip is priced the same hence no negotiation hassles. Riders in Nairobi pay Sh60 per kilometer covered and Sh4 per minute. To request a ride, users must download the free application for Android smartphone through Google Play Store, iPhone, Blackberry7, Windows Phone or register for Uber on our website.” Alastair Curtis said.
After Uber was launched in Nairobi, people thought it will have a tough breakthrough because of a number of reasons. Firstly, it only allowed debit/credit cards, secondly, heavy traffic, thirdly, no incentives given to taxi owners, fourthly, people claimed it’s expensive and lastly the question of honesty and security.