Uber lashes out at Indian payments regulations

Uber switched over all payments for its taxi-hailing service in India to a wallet-based service today, lambasting the Reserve Bank of India’s two-factor identification mandate for making it impossible for the company to accept credit card payments.

The US taxi app company called the regulation “an antiquated solution that is cumbersome for consumers and stifling for businesses,” noting that the adoption of its wallet-based alternative to credit card payments had been “slow” in India.

Uber argued that the reluctance of users to switch from its credit card-based system “indicates their trust in Uber’s payment system and a preference for more convenient yet secure online/mobile payments.”

RBI requires any online payment involving an Indian bank card to include a two-factor authentication process.

Uber is asking for a 45-day extension period to continue to allow payments from credit cards since so few customers have switched over to the new payment option. Wallet-based payments could be useful to people in India, allowing them to pay for their rides using a debit card, internet banking or even cash by topping up their wallet, since relatively few people in the country own a credit card.

Despite this, Uber said  that loading a pre-pay wallet is less convenient than a credit card, and has been struggling to convince Indian users to comply with the change. Last month, the company offered wallet-compliant users free rides five days to try and tempt them into using the new service.

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