One of the most-talked about companies over the past few months is none other than Uber. Despite facing a ton of criticism from government officials and the general public, it is impossible to envision a world where car-sharing services like Uber are not part of everyday life. In a recent surprising turn of events, the company started accepting cash payments in Indonesia, yet people have been asking for Bitcoin integration for quite some time now.
Uber Accepts Cash Payments In Indonesia
Indonesia is one of the underbanked regions of the world, so it only makes sense for innovative companies to appeal to as many residents as possible. Doing so would also mean companies have to adapt their business model regarding payment options, and cash payments are one of the most commonly used methods in the country.
That being said, Uber is all about making the car-sharing experience as frictionless as possible, so cash payments don’t seem to fit that bill at all. However, it important to note cash payments are limited to the city of Bandung, just outside of Jakarta. This testing ground of up to 2 million potential customers will give Uber valuable insights as to whether or not cash payments are a viable option.
“We know that cash is still the dominant payment option for millions of Indonesians, especially in smaller cities. This experiment is really exciting for us given the success we’ve seen in other markets and the potential of the Indonesian market.”
– Uber’s Mike Brown told the media.
Even a company like Uber needs to play catch-up to its competitors now and then, as both GrabTaxi and Grabcar have been accepting cash payments for quite some time. Additionally, Go-Jek – which offers a similar service like Uber but for motorbikes – is also taking cash payments.
It may seem strange to hear Uber is still operating in Indonesia, especially since Bandung Mayor Ridwan Kamil declared the company to be illegal not too long ago. Truth be told, there is no real action being taken by authorities to enforce this ruling, allowing Uber to thrive in the “grey area of the law” for the time being.
Just Start Accepting Bitcoin Already
Because Indonesia is a country where very few people have access to a bank account or credit card, it is also prone to digital currency adoption. Most people in this region are jumping straight to mobile payments, leapfrogging traditional financial infrastructure wherever possible. Bitcoin seems to be the next logical step for Indonesia, as walking around with plenty of cash is not safe either.
Furthermore, Bitcoin can be bought over the counter at over 10,000 “Indomaret” convenience stores in the entire country. In theory, over 200 million unbanked people now have access to a financial instrument that not only works within the borders of the country but an on a global scale as well. Uber should start exploring the Bitcoin option before their rivals do, or they might lose ground all over the world.
Source: Tech In Asia