Uber hopes to beef up its billfold with Uber Cash

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The company also amps up its efforts in the restaurant-to-consumer delivery game

In the tech world, there seems to be no end to the potential of a brand’s ecosystem. Microsoft, Amazon, Apple, and Google’s tentacles wrap around everything from cloud storage to audio and video streaming, devices you can talk to, walk with, or wear. It’s been reported that Google alone has more than 250 different products and services in its ecosystem.

Now, one of the younger kids on the tech block -- Uber -- is doing its best to stick its toe in as many waters as the big tech kids.

Since debuting its gig economy-driven rideshare service, Uber’s moved into bike sharing, food delivery, Christmas tree delivery, hot air balloon rides, auto leasing, a credit card, its own air transportation shuttle, and, now, Uber Cash, a funding hub that allows consumers to pay for all-things-Uber from a single source.

Once a consumer has funded their Uber Cash account, they can use it to pay for things across the Uber ecosystem including ridesharing, food delivery, and e-bikes and scooters, not to mention buying gift cards and redeeming local offers.

Not an original idea, but a good one

“Uber Cash is more than an imitation of Amazon's cash back rewards,” according to PaymentsSource. “By creating an ecosystem for users to load, redeem and pay for various services with the app, Uber has created a veritable digital wallet with the opportunity to build a war chest of stored-value cash.”

“If successful, Uber could recreate the Amazon Prime effect of getting consumers into its system for one perk (i.e., two-day shipping or an exclusive TV series) and then piling on incentives and services to keep them engaged.”

It’s a feast!

Restaurant-to-consumer delivery is on an unbelievable tear. In 2018, the delivery segment is estimated to gross nearly $80 million according to Statista with a user penetration currently at 16 percent, with each user worth $91 a year. At the rate it’s going, it could hit a market volume of $116 million and a user slice of 22 percent by 2022.

Uber Cash’s mettle will certainly be tested in that crowded food delivery space where Uber Eats goes head-to-head with Amazon and Grubhub. Uber seems poised for that fight, going as far as resetting Uber Eat’s fee model based on the distance between the customer and the restaurant.

“We’re adjusting our one flat booking fee to become a range of booking fee options,” writes Ben Dreier, Product Manager, Uber Eats Marketplace in an announcement. The difference in booking fee is predominantly determined by where you are and where the restaurant’s location is.”

“For example, this means your booking fee might be lower for the restaurant around the corner than it is for the one across town. We’ll also be highlighting booking fees upfront before you select a restaurant, so there are never surprises at checkout. As always, we’re keeping the things you love – no hidden fees and no minimum orders,” said Dreier.

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