Soon, Indian Uber users can pay via Paytm while travelling abroad


New Delhi: Indians travelling abroad will be able to pay for their Uber rides through Paytm, the ride hailing service said on Tuesday.

Uber said a new partnership with China’s Ant Financial Services Group and India’s Paytm will allow Chinese and Indians travelling abroad to pay for their rides using these payment apps in more than 400 cities.

The move is aimed at international travellers, who will no longer be required to link additional payment methods while travelling abroad.

Till now, customers using the Uber app internationally needed to connect a dual currency credit card to pay for rides.

The partnership will enable customers to pay for their international rides directly in RMB or Rupee respectively using their connected Alipay and Paytm accounts.

The payments will be calculated at the backend of the apps in the local currency.

The integration would also allow Paytm user travelling abroad to book Uber rides without downloading Uber’s app in a month. Alipay users can do the same starting Tuesday.

This move will give Uber direct access to the over 450 million users of Alipay and over 126 million users of Paytm.

“Alipay’s collaboration with Uber reflects a step forward of Ant Financial’s global strategy and the collaboration also extends to the Alipay’s strategic global partners like Paytm in India. The collaboration aims to bring better experiences for our users globally,” said Eric Jing, president of Ant Financial.

“Users would not need dual currency credit card anymore,” he added.

The companies, however, did not share the details of the financial arrangement.

“Currently, when a customer uses Uber app outside the country, he is asked to change the payment option, but in future, it won’t happen. In the places where Alipay is accepted, the user will be able to pay through Paytm,” said Vijay Shekhar Sharma, founder of One97 Communications Ltd that runs the payments firm Paytm.

Alipay is currently accepted in 15 countries and with this integration, they get to have a presence in 68 countries where Uber is present.

“From Uber’s perspective, it is access to the user base and then it is the ability for that user base to use Alipay to pay whenever they are travelling. From an Alipay perspective, it is giving them access to the transaction volume of Uber as well as access to other countries,” said Amit Jain, president Uber India.

In September, China’s e-commerce giant Alibaba Group and its affiliate Ant Financial together committed to put an undisclosed amount in Paytm. Ant Financial had committed another $575 million in February 2015.

In an interaction with Mint last month, Eric Alexander , president of business in Asia for Uber Inc said that India and China are the two fastest growing markets in the world for Uber. India has grown very fast at almost 40% month-on-month.

Interestingly, the development comes almost five months after four large cab-hailing services and Uber’s rivals in different markets — India’s Ola, China’s Didi Kuaidi Joint Co., US-based Lyft and Singapore-based GrabTaxi — entered into a global ride-share agreement to take on Uber Technologies Inc.

The move allowed customers to book rides on the apps of these four companies whenever they are travelling to India, China, the US, Singapore and other parts of Southeast Asia.