With growing demand for Uber services, the number of drivers is increasingly rapidly as well. To satisfy their drivers, this week Uber announced their new feature called Instant Pay that will enable drivers to immediately use the cash they make driving for Uber by using GoBank, a 3rd party mobile banking service. The service will initially be available in a few cities.
Lyft had integrated a similar feature into their app three months ago called Express Pay. David Rust, Lyft’s Director of Operation Strategy, said that 35% of the drivers have already used Express Pay features, and Lyft has disbursed over $100 million to the drivers through this service. According to Rust, in the last 30 days, Lyft has paid about $40 million in driver fares.
“With any product that launches, if one-third of the entire user base is using it, it is a resounding vote of confidence,” Rust told Re/code. “This is unlike any uptick in utilization that we’ve seen with products we’ve launched previously.”
Rust further said that this feature was implemented to meet the growing driver demand, echoing Uber’s motivation to release Instant Pay. Both these companies are looking to keep their drivers satisfied and attract new users.
The services have some differences, though. For Uber, the drivers must open a GoBank account, where their earnings will be deposited. The deposit is then available for withdrawal through a debit card from any of GoBank’s 42,000 ATMs. No minimum amount is necessary or additional fees are required to make this withdrawal. Unfortunately, no other bank accounts will work for this feature at the moment.
Instant Pay – Uber App integration
The Instant Pay app hasn’t been integrated entirely into the Uber app yet, but this does provide incentives for prospective drivers who may not have existing bank accounts: GoBank is associated with Walmart too, and generally approve new accounts instantly.
Both Uber and Lyft aim to retain and attract new drivers as they compete against each other. To keep drivers around, they must not only provide them with customers but additional perk as well. The fact that Uber implemented an instant cash withdrawal service similar to that of Lyft perhaps implies that Lyft had a bit of an edge over Uber until now.