Uber wants to make calling a car from an app in India as easy as sending a message via WhatsApp.
The San Francisco-based company has partnered with Meta (formerly Facebook) to launch a car-call function through its WhatsApp service in India, the two tech companies said in a statement on Thursday. .
The integration – the first of its kind for the hitchhiking services giant – will allow people to call a car from Uber without having to download the company’s app.
Everything from user registration and booking a ride to obtaining a travel receipt will be managed within the WhatsApp chat interface.
The service is first being launched in the northern city of Lucknow and will be expanded to other Indian cities soon, the statement added.
“We want to make it as easy as possible for all Indians to take a Uber trip, and to do that we need to find them on platforms they feel comfortable with,” said Nandini Maheshwari, senior director of business development at Uber APAC, in the statement.
With nearly half a billion users, India is the biggest WhatsApp market.
Drivers who book via Whatsapp will have access to “the same security features and insurance protections as those who travel directly through the app,” Uber said.
Some of these features include the ability to speak to the driver anonymously using a modified number and have access to the vehicle’s license plate at the time of booking.
“The Uber experience on WhatsApp is simple, familiar and familiar to users, and has the potential to accelerate Uber adoption with a new category of drivers in India,” said Abhijit Bose, the head of WhatsApp India, in the statement.
The company will create more “custom solutions for products and services across all sectors in India,” he added.
The service is only available in English, but will be launched in Indian languages soon.
This isn’t the first time Uber has tested an ambitious project in India. In 2015, Hyderabad became the first city in the world in which Uber started accepting cash payments – an option that was later introduced in the company’s other markets.
Uber said India is “one of the company’s biggest international markets” but declined to share the number of users in the country.
*This article has been translated. Read the original in English
Reference: CNN Brasil