Uber is walking down a new path as the ride-hailing behemoth is bringing a brand-new option to Indian users. For the first time globally, users in the country will be able to book a ride on Uber using WhatsApp.
That’s right, now, booking an Uber ride is as easy as sending a WhatsApp message. Users can now book a Uber ride via an official Uber WhatsApp chatbot.
What makes it all the more simple is that you do not need to download the Uber app to book a ride Uber said that everything from user registration, booking a ride, and getting a trip receipt will be managed within the WhatsApp chat interface. This will benefit Uber and expand WhatsApp’s capabilities in India, which happens to have 500 million users, the largest single user base of the Meta-owned app. India is no stranger to Uber as well – the US-based giant has been operating in the country for eight years and has a presence in 70 cities.
The process is easy – you can book a ride by either messaging Uber’s business account, or scanning a QR code, or clicking a link that will take them to an Uber WhatsApp chat. Then, you need to provide where you want to be picked up from and dropped off and will receive the information about the upfront fare and when the driver is expected time to arrive.
You will get the same safety features and insurance protections as those who book trips via the Uber app directly, along with the name of the driver and license plate of the driver, and the ability to track the location of the driver en route to the pickup point, as well as speak to them anonymously using a masked number.
What else is new? The WhatsApp chat flow will inform you about the safety guidelines, including how to reach Uber in case of emergencies – Uber’s customer support team will call you if you select the “emergency” option while you are on the trip. You will also have access to the safety line numbers to call the Uber team until 30 minutes after the trip has ended.
Interestingly, if you are from Lucknow, then you will be the first to receive the use this feature. It will gradually roll out to users in New Delhi, and finally across the nation in 2022. Currently available in English only, this option will expand to other languages soon.
“We want to make it as easy as possible for all Indians to take an Uber trip, and to do that we need to meet them on platforms they are comfortable with. Our partnership with WhatsApp does just that, giving riders a new way to get a ride through a simple, familiar, and trusted channel. We are thrilled at this global-first integration for Uber, and look forward to rolling it out across India,” Nandini Maheshwari, Sr. Director, Business Development, Uber APAC said.