Starting next week, Uber will begin accepting cash payments in all five South African cities where it currently operates, the company has announced.

South Africa follows other African countries Nigeria, Egypt and Kenya, when the service began introducing the option on the continent late last year.

Back in January, asked Uber whether or not it would be bring cash payments down to us, the company had said it didn’t have any plans to do so, adding that cash payment expansion is dependent on specific market requirements.

Cash payments will begin as a pilot so the company can test its success in the market.

“We’re always looking at how we can make it easier for people to benefit from the convenient, safe and affordable option of taking an Uber. This experiment will help us understand whether riders and driver-partners welcome the choice of paying by cash or card,” Alon Lits, General Manager for Uber Sub-Saharan Africa, said in a statement.

From our predictions, we think it’ll be a success as it’ll open the business up to a larger market which was previously shut out due to the credit or cheque/debit card payment requirement.

South Africans have always used cash to catch traditional metered cab and now a cheaper option has broadened its reach it’s likely that more commuters will opt for it.

The question however, is how will metered taxi drivers, who’ve been at odds with Uber for quite some time, react should people migrate to the tech-based solution in favour of its prices and cash option.

According to Uber, South Africa is the first country which will have all cities where the service is available offering the payment option.

“Offering cash as an alternate option has proven to be very successful for Uber. The introduction of cash in Singapore for example, had an extremely positive response and this is a country that has a substantial credit card penetration and very high GDP per capita,” Lits said.

“As before, all trip details are electronically recorded and riders will always be able to pay by debit or credit card if they prefer,” he added.

When you open the app up and select the payment option, this is what you’ll see on your phone’s screen:


There is a catch however, cash is an open-ended experiment so not all riders will see this additional payment option right away, the company said.

“Cash is a dominant payment method in Africa and this experiment will give Uber insight into how riders and driver-partners adopt and use a mix of cash and electronic payments, how consumer behaviour changes and what Uber can do to build a better product and provide a better experience,” the company said.

Uber is currently available in 11 African countries.