Just use your Uber card. In order to ease online payment transactions in a country where ecommerce isn’t the norm, Uber has partnered with Mexico’s first online bank, Bankaool, to issue Uber-branded Mastercard debit cards, according to Business Insider.
While doing everything it can think of to expand its market share in the U.S., Uber is fighting to build its brand and business in Latin America as well. Recently the company started flying drones low over commuters stuck in traffic, to display hanging ads for UberPool. After launching in Mexico in 2013, Uber’s ridesharing service is now available in 31 cities, but the issue with Mexican bank cards and online payments has been a challenge.
“We are very excited to being able to offer safe, reliable, and affordable rides to more people with this new card, which will be available for all Mexicans,” said Francisco Sordo, Head of Uber for Mexico and Central America, in an emailed statement. Customers who obtain the UberCards get their first Uber ride using the card for free, up to $100. Debit cards with the Uber brand also promote the ridesharing company whenever they’re used for other transactions.
The partnership with Bankaool is a win for both firms. The cards aren’t for Uber rides only, but can be used any place that accepts Mastercard, and they are linked directly to a Bankaool deposit account. Bankaool, moreover, gains customers who open deposit accounts and then use the debit cards in order to make it easier to ride with Uber.
The association with a worldwide brand like Uber is an additional plus for the bank. Since bank cards that allow online payments are rare in Mexico, word-of-mouth could be a valuable source of new banking customers. Customers anywhere in Mexico can open an account free of charge with an initial deposit of $200.