Uber has embarked on a hiring spree in New York as part of an aggressive move into financial services that could even see the ride hailing app launch its own bank account, according to CNBC.
The firm is on the hunt for dozens of engineers and product managers in the Big Apple, building up a base that could top 100 staffers, says CNBC, citing sources.
The decision is part of a strategy to increase engagement and loyalty among both riders and drivers. For customers, the drill is on building “payments experiences” while for drivers the company wants to focus on managing their money.
Uber already has its own loyalty programme and a co-branded credit card, while last year it applied to the Dutch central bank for an e-money license.
The firm also has a close relationship with PayPal, which took a $500 million stake in Uber as part of its recent IPO. PayPal CEO Dan Schulman said at the time that the companies would “explore future commercial payment collaborations, including the development of Uber’s digital wallet”.
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Ultimately, Uber could partner a FDIC-insured provider to create its own bank account, says CNBC, citing a source. This would reduce the company’s reliance on the banking system to get paid and pay its drivers.
The financial services strategy mirrors that being pursued by Uber’s South East Asian rival Grab, which has its own P2P payments app and offers micro-loans and insurance products.
Today, Grab struck a deal with Citibank to launch a co-branded credit card in the Philippines.