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An unexpected partnership between Uber and WhatsApp

What if we told you that there is now an initiative to make booking a ride in a VTC as simple as sending a text message? Well, that’s the heart of the partnership between Uber and WhatsApp, who have joined forces in India. More precisely, in Lucknow, in the north of the second most populated country in the world. Perhaps this tells you something? The two American giants have announced a partnership that will allow Indians to book an Uber ride via WhatsApp. We tell you more…

A simplified operation

India represents WhatsApp’s largest market, with nearly half a billion users. Operating for more than 8 years in the country, Uber announced on Thursday that a new feature was implemented. Now, users can book rides via a chatbox on the WhatsApp messaging service. Also, with this integration, users will no longer have to download or use the Uber app. This new service aims to offer everything. In fact, all the features will be available directly through the WhatsApp interface. From signing up to using, booking a ride and even getting a trip receipt. Although India is already one of Uber’s largest international markets, this alliance would help it further. This is because the transportation company can now tap into the database of around 500 million Indian WhatsApp users.

We want all Indians to be able to take an Uber ride as easily as possible, and to do that, we need to find them on platforms they feel comfortable on. Our partnership with WhatsApp does just that, offering users a new way to get around via a simple, familiar and trusted channel. We are excited about this first global integration for Uber, and look forward to rolling it out across India.

Nandini maheshwari, director OF BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT AT UBER APAC

No need to download the Uber app

Very easy to use, users looking for a ride will just have to go to WhatsApp and to follow the steps:

  • Send a message to the Uber chatbot on the messaging app, by scanning the QR Code or by clicking on the dedicated link to open a conversation
  • Enter the departure and arrival address in the conversation

Then, the user will have access to information like on the Uber app, for example the estimated waiting time or the price of the ride. When the traveler books his trip, he will have access to information about the driver and his vehicle. Finally, the same options will be available for safety, including insurance in case of accident. In addition, in case of emergency, travelers will be able to send “help” in the WhatsApp chat to notify the platform. At the moment, the only available language of this offer is English. However, the service should soon be available in Indian. If this project is successful in India, it is very likely that Uber and WhatsApp will decide to deploy it in other countries.

As for WhatsApp, it is trying to make itself more useful in the vast Indian market. Indeed, the Meta Group company has recently developed a digital payment option. But that’s not all. The courier company has also partnered with Reliance JioMart for grocery deliveries in India, all directly on its platform. By integrating Uber, doesn’t META Group’s courier platform have a further idea? Maybe it will gradually become a Super App, a very popular service on the Asian continent. To be continued…

Also to be discovered:
Super apps: an opportunity for mobility companies