In the Birthplace of Mobile Money, Kenyans Prefer Paying Cash for Uber
Despite fierce opposition from traditional taxi drivers, Kenya has become one of Uber’s fastest-growing African markets, and allowing cash payments played a crucial role in the growth, according to Alon Lits, Uber general manager for sub-Saharan Africa.
Uber launched in Nairobi in January 2015 and recently expanded to Mombasa. Users must download a mobile app that allows them to call a taxi and pay for the service via mobile.
A three-month trial period in Kenya starting in May 2015 allowed Uber customers to pay cash instead of mobile money. Paying with cash was so popular, Uber’s business doubled, Lits said in an RFI interview. “That growth has continued since that initial cash experience.”
Most payments for Uber in Kenya are now made in cash and exceed the number of rides paid for by mobile money service M-Pesa, Lits said.