Uber Reportedly Looking to Expand into FinTech
Just over a month after its initial public offering, Uber is apparently looking to diversify its offerings while still pleasing their target demographic. According to a CNBC report the ride-hailing company is now eyeing an expansion into the realm of FinTech. While it’s unclear exactly what these plans would entail, it seems that internal efficiencies along with perks for customers could all be in the cards.
Reports suggest that Uber is now in the process of hiring engineers and product managers for potential financial technology endeavors. CNBC sources say this team could eventually grow to 100 workers who would be tasked with creating so-called “payment experiences” that will attract Uber customers. Additionally the FinTech team would seek solutions for reducing costs and creating financial tools for the companies large stable of independent contractors.
Incidentally, speaking to the “payment experience” goal, the company has previously introduced their Uber Cash offering that allows customers to save by purchasing credits in advance. More recently the service has unveiled a rider loyalty program. It’s also worth noting that Uber has a co-branded credit card with Barclaycard that emphasizes dining and travel more than just Uber rides themselves. This would imply that the company is open to products that attract the demographic they’re chasing even if they don’t directly promote their core products.
Looking into the long term, CNBC says there are also rumblings that Uber might be considering offering its own bank account. That might sound far fetched but it actually might not be the strangest brand-bank partnership to debut in recent memory. For example telecom T-Mobile recently rolled out a banking offering available to all that included bonus perks for its wireless customers. To be clear, it’s unlikely that Uber would pursue a bank charter of their own and would instead partner with an existing institution like many FinTechs before them have done.
Given how often Uber is mentioned in conversations about FinTech and the trend of various companies putting their own spin on banking services, it probably shouldn’t be a shock that Uber is apparently exploring the possibilities. If strong reviews for their co-branded credit card are any indication, consumers may be willing to embrace some of the company’s new efforts even if they may seem strange at first. With the company’s stock now back in line after a less than stellar IPO, it will certainly be interesting to see if Uber’s potential FinTech efforts will continue to “lift” them up in the coming years.