Uber will partner with WhatsApp to allow its customers from India to book their rides right via the WhatsApp Messenger, Bloomberg reports. This will help Uber attract new users by leveraging an already existing WhatsApp audience – over 500 million people in India actively use WhatsApp, which is the largest user base of the messenger.
Uber introduced this option to make ordering a taxi as easy as possible for its Indian customers. Since WhatsApp is a convenient platform for them, the company decided to use this messaging app.
With the new service, Indian passengers will no longer need to download and use the Uber app. Instead, they will be able to use the app's entire functionality in a dedicated WhatsApp chatbot. It will be possible to sign up, book a ride, as well as receive a trip receipt right on WhatsApp.
According to the company, the process of ordering a car through the Uber chatbot will be similar to that on the Uber app. The chatbot will display the license plate, driver's name, pick-up time, and location. Drivers will not see the difference between rides booked via the app and rides booked via the chatbot.
At first, the service will be available in the city of Lucknow, but Uber plans to expand it to more regions and the rest of the major cities later on.
For now, the chatbot works in English, but the company will add other languages soon.