In India, Uber will allow people to book rides using WhatsApp

Uber, the world’s largest ride-hailing company, is launching a new service in India that allows customers to book an Uber ride through an official Uber WhatsApp Chatbot, a first for the company and an expansion of WhatsApp’s capabilities in India.

“We’re launching a new feature this week that allows consumers to schedule an Uber ride through an official Uber WhatsApp chatbot. The Uber app will no longer be required to be downloaded or used by riders. User registration, booking a ride, and receiving a travel receipt will all be handled through the WhatsApp chat interface, according to Uber.

The integration, which is a first for Uber, is being rolled out in Lucknow initially. It will next show it to people in New Delhi, with plans to roll it out across India next year. WhatsApp, which is owned by Meta, has more than half a billion users in India, making it the country with the greatest single user base.

How does it work?

WhatsApp users can book an Uber ride in one of three ways: by messaging Uber’s business account number, scanning a QR code, or immediately opening an Uber WhatsApp chat by clicking a link. They’ll be requested to provide pick-up and drop-off locations after that. Users will be given upfront fare information as well as the driver’s estimated arrival time.

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Riders benefit from the same safety features and insurance coverage as those who book rides directly through the Uber app. They will be informed of the driver’s name and licence plate upon booking; they will be able to follow the driver’s whereabouts en way to the pickup site; and they will be able to communicate with the driver anonymously via a disguised number.

The rider would be informed about safety guidelines via WhatsApp, including how to contact Uber in the event of an emergency (type help on-trip). The user will receive an inbound call from Uber’s customer support staff if they select the “emergency” option while on the ride. Until 30 minutes after the trip finishes, Uber riders will have access to the safety line numbers, which they can use to contact the Uber staff if necessary.

Uber drivers, on the other hand, will continue to have the same experience with rides booked using WhatsApp.
This option to order a transport via WhatsApp is currently only available in English, but it will be expanded to other Indian languages in the near future. In addition, the service is available to both new and existing Uber users who merely have a phone number.

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