Uber has introduced WhatsApp integration into its services – but this facility is currently available only for users in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh. Now anyone can book an Uber directly via WhatsApp, eliminating the need to download the Uber app.
As we know that WhatsApp is the most downloaded app in India, and it has a base of more than 48 crores monthly active users. Uber seems to understand this and now instead of trying to bring people to their app, they will meet them where they already are. However, it does not imply that the Uber app will be vanishing away, this is just an added service to tap into a bigger audience.
Starting this week, this new feature will enable people to book their Uber rides via an official Uber WhatsApp chatbot. Customers can manage everything from user registration, booking a ride, to getting a trip receipt all from their WhatsApp chat.
This service is Uber’s first-ever integration, of all the global markets that it currently operates in. With Lucknow being the first city in India to be able to avail this service. After Lucknow, New Delhi will be the second city to roll out the same. Uber seems optimistic to launch their latest integration in the entire nation by next year.
The WhatsApp integration could help Uber in India’s Tier II and Tier III cities where people are already comfortable using WhatsApp and may bank at downloading another app into their smartphones.
So how does it work?
WhatsApp users can book an Uber ride through three simple ways:
- Send ‘Hi’ on WhatApp to +91 7292000002
- Click to WhatsApp : Here (Mobile phone only)
- Scan the following QR code
They will then be asked to provide pickup and drop-off locations. Users will receive upfront fare information and the driver’s expected time of arrival.
Besides, the riders from this service will get the same safety features and insurance protections as those who book trips via the Uber app directly. The users on WhatsApp will get all the information like the name of the driver and license plate of the driver on booking all through the messages. Additionally, users will also be able to track the location of the driver en route to the pickup point and be able to speak to the driver anonymously using a masked number.
All of the safety guidelines will be directed to users in the WhatsApp chat flow. Where they will be guided on how to reach Uber in case of emergencies (type help on-trip). Moreover, users will be able to get a call directly from Uber’s customer support team, if they select the “emergency” while they are on the trip. Also, the riders will have access to the safety line numbers to call the Uber team, if needed. They can contact these lines until 30 mins after the trip ends.
When this new service becomes fully functional, there will be no changes to the Uber drivers platform. They won’t see any difference with rides booked via WhatsApp.
As of now the only available language to book a ride via WhatsApp will be English. However, Uber will be expanding to more local Indian languages as this service unfolds in more cities in the nation. Lastly, this service will be available to both new and existing users who registered with only a phone number on Uber.