Uber will launch its Uber Cash digital wallet feature in Sub-Saharan Africa in partnership with San Francisco based — Nigerian founded — fintech firm Flutterwave. This will let riders to top up Uber wallets using the dozens of remittance partners active on Flutterwave’s Pan-African network.
Flutterwave works as a B2B payments gateway network that allows clients to tap its APIs and customize payments applications.
Uber Cash will go live this week and next for Uber’s ride-hail operations in South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria, Uganda and Ghana, Ivory Coast and Tanzania, according to Alon Lits — Uber’s General Manager for Sub-Saharan Africa.
“Depending on the country, you’ve got different top up methods available. For example in Nigeria you can use your Verve Card or mobile money. In Kenya, you can use M-Pesa and EFT and in South Africa you can top up with EFT,” said Lits.
Uber Cash in Africa will also accept transfers from Flutterwave’s Barter payment app, launched with Visa in 2019.
The move could increase Uber’s ride traffic in Africa by boosting the volume of funds sent to digital wallets and reducing friction in the payment process.
Uber still accepts cash on the continent — which has one of the world’s largest unbanked populations — but has made strides on financial inclusion through mobile money.
Like Africa’s broader tech ecosystem, Uber has adapted its business to the outbreak of COVID-19 in Africa, which hit hardest in March and April and led to lockdowns in key economies, such as Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa.