Next in Mobile Payments: The Uber & Airtel Combination!


“Within five years, half of today’s smartphone users will be using their phones and mobile wallets as their preferred method for payments.” – Peter Olynick said in 2012. He is a Card & a Payments Practice leader for management and tech consulting firm Carlisle & Gallagher.

It can be said that Mr. Olynick has a good eye for the future developments. As he predicted 3 years ago, the mobile payments sector is already opening up to new partnerships and innovations. And, looking at the recent developments in the payments sector, the future is looking very bright for Uber and Airtel. The Taxi service provider Uber has joined hands with Airtel to provide the users with the option to pay for the rides using Airtel mobile wallet. Airtel mobile wallet users in India can now use it to pay for the rides. Both the companies have also zeroed in on a promotional campaign that will enable the Uber customers to get the first ride free on using the Airtel Money payment service. In an additional development, Uber is also coming up with a high-speed internet service for their customers, powered by Airtel.

Amongst all the major cities in India, customers in Mumbai will be the first one to have the opportunity to access it. In the coming days, the high-speed internet service will be rolled out across other major cities in the country. The internet-based announcement is a move designed to provide Uber customers with free high-speed internet access for easy mobile payments. All the Uber vehicles in India will be equipped with free Wi-Fi courtesy Airtel. The move will also make Uber the first technology platform to officially launch Airtel Money. Another promotional move suggests that Uber riders who top up their Airtel Money wallet will earn up to Rs. 500 for free.

Currently, Uber operates in 100+ cities and towns in India. Speaking about the development, Amit Jain, President, Uber India said, “Airtel is leading the way for wireless connectivity and, as our telecom partner, will help us in our quest toward transforming urban mobility for hundreds of millions of commuters in India.”


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“Thinking Aloud” reflects the emerging trends and varied outlook of the rapidly evolving internet and communication sector. An IAMAI publication, this is a part of the market education initiative of the association.

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